Friday, September 13, 2013

I Used to Think...

I used to think bad teachers needed to be fired. Now I realize bad teaching largely exists because of a lack of exposure to good teaching.

I used to think homework was the way to reinforce learning. Now I realize it a tool used to coerce compliance and reinforce the notion of haves and have-nots in the home.

I used to think punishing a student would change their behavior. Now I realize most kids need to be taught how to behave and punishments reinforce a cycle of misbehavior.

I used to think we did not need administrators. Now I realize how valuable an effective administrative team can be and the impact it can have on teaching and learning.

I used to think parents were something to be feared and I only had to contact them when things were going badly in school. Now I realize the vital role parents play in creating strong partnerships between home and school and how impactful their involvement can be.

I used to think the more work I piled on a kid the more they would learn. Now I realize the more valuable the work I ask kids to do the more they will learn.

I used to think that modeling for students was always the best way to teach. Now I realize modeling can lead to copying and can rob students of true learning experiences.

I used to think Captain Crunch was a good breakfast food. Now I realize how horrible that is and defer to more healthy choices…like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

I used to think I could be a superhero and was responsible for saving the kids in my classroom. Now I realize I can’t do it alone and my responsibility reaches far beyond the walls of my classroom.

I used to think having technology in my room made me a better teacher. Now I realize technology will not transform my teaching without me first shifting my teaching.

I used to think kids were motivated by grades and that could increase engagement. Now I realize grades are often less a reflection of academic abilities but rather an indication of prowess at playing the game of school.  

I used to think the kids that always raised their hands were the smartest ones in the room. Now I realize the ones who rarely speak have the most to say and are often the ones worth listening to.


I used to think I was a good teacher. Now I realize that good is not good enough and I must to keep working to be better. 
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