tree_board.jpgWe live and teach in a standards-based world, which sometimes makes it difficult to focus on what a child can do rather than what he can't do. Because of this, one spring I created the bulletin board you see at the right. My hope was to encourage us to focus on what a child can do rather than what they can't do. Over top of the bulletin board is the saying, "If you tell a child they CAN'T and they AREN'T, then they WON'T; but if you tell a child they CAN and they ARE, then they WILL." The sun in the image is shining down praises such as "You CAN do it!" "You ARE great!" "You CAN succeed!" The cloud is raining down characteristics of kindness, patience, and encouragement. And the roots that are growing strong because of what the sun and the rain are giving them are successes like, "She thinks I CAN do it." "They think I CAN do it." "I think I CAN do it." "I AM doing it!" This bulletin board is a good example of the philosophy I not only teach from, but live from.

I believe every student can learn, and I believe every student is worthy of the opportunity to learn. My students will know I believe this, not only because I will tell them on the first day of every term, but because I will show them every day I am with them. They will know, by my actions, my words, and my passion, that I believe in them and will do whatever it takes for them to be active, efficient, and happy learners. I will work to empower my students.

One way I will accomplish this is to help them make connections between their knowledge in all different aspects of their life - connect what happens in math class to English class, what happens at home to what happens in the work world and their science class, what happened in their home language to what is happening in their second language, what they learned last week or last year to what they are learning today and tomorrow. I will know I have taught them this when I see that they are aware of not just their own class or their own little world, but the wide world around them, and not just what they are learning, but how they learn it. I will encourage them to be active learners and problem solvers by continually making connections.