Monthly Archives: November 2013

My Teaching Manifesto

1.) I promise to give my students the choice they deserve in their reading and writing.  I will give them a genre to write in but let them choose what they will write about within that genre.  As a student, I dislike when a teacher gives me a prompt to write from.  I need more choice with what I write, that is when I write best.  My students will need this choice too.

2.) I promise to be available to my students.  Kids need someone they can rely on, someone they can trust.  I will be that person for them, and I will be as available as possible for my students.  Towards the end on my high school career, my teachers began to give out their personal information, like cell phone numbers and email addresses.  I will give my students this information on the very first day, making sure they have the resources to contact me if they have any issues.

3.) I promise to provide a safe learning environment for my students.  They need a place to play with words, to begin to understand their own writing styles, and to explore.  I will give this to ALL of my students.

4.) I promise to spend time talking and listening to my students.  I will get to know them as a person, not a number.  They deserve to be treated as a person, not a number that I am trying to improve.  I want them to see me as a teacher, a guide, but also a friend, someone they can depend on.  I want my students to be able to talk to me freely about their problems. (Seeing as I’m going into high school, this shouldn’t be a problem.)

5.) I promise to give my students the tools and the response they need to improve as writers.  I will give EVERY student the tools they need, whether their classmates already have them or not.  I will promise to respond to each student paper, giving advice and not a bunch of red marks.

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Student Choice-How Much is Too Much?

We have all learned in our Methods class that students need choice.  I agree with this statement %100 but today I was wondering if giving students too much choice was a possibility.  Students will be more motivated to read or write if they get to choose what they read or write about.  That is a given, but if a teacher gives the students so much choice that they are overwhelmed with the possibilities it seems like it would be counter productive.  I have been in a class where the professor allowed the students to choice what they wanted to do for their final project.  Even though I took a relaxing deep breath when the professor said this to us in class, I felt overwhelmed after a while.  I had no idea what to do for my project and as the dead line drew closer I found myself asking classmates what they were doing so I could get an idea of the direction we were supposed to go in. 

I think that if a teacher gives students choice but also provides a general floor for the students to start on, the class will be happy and successful.  Students, especially high school students, need structure but room to grow and build that structure to fit their own beliefs and ideas.  I think that as a teacher, I will have to learn how to balance the control I have over the classroom and how much of the control I let the students have in their projects.