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A review of the articles discovering your mission and whole life grid

I have a sense of sanity because I have succeeded. I'm immensely smarter because of this experience. Beliefs About Myself I can meet any challenge. I know and understand students, learning, and teaching.

I know where to get help and when to ask for it. I will be a better person as a result of teaching students. Goals for Myself Teach and reach all students. Grow and develop teaching skills every day. Feel successful in what I have taught. Learn every day—from students, peers, reading, research, writing. Have clear lesson and unit plans. Adjust lessons to meet the needs of my students. Assess during lessons so no student is lost. Learn everything I can about being a great teacher.

Learning goals are accomplished at all levels. Students are independent learners and willing to challenge themselves. Students want to learn. All students want to succeed. All students will grow as learners.

Students will expand their love of learning. Students will expand their academic knowledge.

Students will gain skills and understand concepts that will bring them lifelong success. Constantly analyze lessons and learning. Carefully use the pacing calendar and curriculum so that learning goals can be met.

Chapter 1. Teaching—It's More Than a Job, It's Magic

Although the detailed responses of different individuals will vary, the ultimate goal is always the successful learning of students through excellent instructional strategies and guidance by the teacher.

Planning as well as reflection on vision and goals add certainty to success. They just do not want to learn! This is the worst bunch of students I have ever had! If you hear negative words muttered by disgruntled colleagues, the best thing to do is to run!

You must teach the students you have with the abilities and background that they possess when they arrive in your classroom. When you believe that every one wants to learn and succeed, you will find that students reflect your optimism. Every day in teaching, whether it is the most glorious or the toughest, is critical to the success of students. When you expect the best behavior, intellectual output, and scholarly interaction, your goals are more likely to be achieved.

Faith in students' capabilities and their desire to grow empowers students as it strengthens your talents and expertise. Amber was a lovely little 1st grader, full of smiles but low in confidence. In kindergarten she had been labeled as a slow learner. Although the teacher had tried to disguise labeling, Amber sensed it, lived it, and suffered. Amber's new teacher demanded excellence while designing avenues of individualized learning to help students succeed.

Each day Amber gained more confidence. In mid-September, she pulled her teacher aside and whispered, "Mrs.

Lessons Learned

Janhunen, when I got here I wasn't very smart. But you are making me smart. Responsibility and Teaching As you think about the various factors that affect the elements in the grid in Figure 1. Are you responsible enough to be a teacher who makes a difference in the lives and learning of children?

The goal is not to be an all-right teacher or a good teacher, but the absolute best. To determine this, take the following true-or-false test. As a teacher you must love to take tests as well as give them!

The thinking behind each answer reveals much about you, your vision, and your beliefs about teaching. Teachers are 100 percent responsible for Being organized and prepared for every lesson, every day. Preparing instruction that ensures learning for all. Designing lessons that educate students.

  • Closing Advice Teachers have the powerful responsibility of influencing student lives and learning;
  • Preparing instruction that ensures learning for all.

Checking for understanding throughout the lesson. Finding and implementing a variety of activities, strategies, and teaching methods. Accepting that all students do not learn the same way or at the same rate. Reteaching as needed to help all students learn. Enriching each lesson to captivate and motivate learners.

Caring deeply for every student. Realizing that some things just do not work, even with the best of planning. Picking up the pieces, loose ends, confusion, and misconceptions of learning and then uncovering ways to correct them. Starting each day fresh, excited, and dedicated to students.

Ending each day by looking forward to tomorrow with enthusiasm and dedication. Knowing that what they say, do, teach, and model affects every student now and forever. Believing that no other job is as important as being a teacher. Knowing that you have responded to each statement with a "true," I've saved the toughest question for last.

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Teachers are 100 percent responsible for Making all students learn. This one is impossible. No teacher can force students to do anything. However, students are relying on the expert knowledge and dedicated instruction of their teacher to help them learn. No child wants to be a failure or to appear incapable. Your students depend on you.

I spent many years "forcing" students to learn. Even though in my heart I knew that they had to want to learn, to see the value of learning, I still pushed them hard—almost relentlessly.

With experience I figured out that I needed to provide students with more ways to own their learning, through opportunities like self-selected reading and writing for reflection on learning.

With prodding and encouragement, my students grew in independence and competence, knowing that I not only acted as a guide for learning but also honored and respected their insight and feedback. When you ask your students about what they know, you receive so much information in return. Owning learning is evidenced when students are allowed to solve problems, explain events, and create products that demonstrate their understanding.

Allowing students to own their learning means that you must be ready to accept multiple ways of discovering answers—answers that are not necessarily the same but that are plausible, or responses that with adjustments to correct misconceptions lead to learning that develops independence.

In math class, owning learning might be demonstrated through multiple ways of solving a problem; in poetry it might be evident in different interpretations of the author's meaning; in woodshop it might be students constructing similar projects but selecting a variety of materials, designs, and finishing techniques. If you, the teacher, always provide one right answer, why would students ever need to really think?

Closing Advice Teachers have the powerful responsibility of influencing student lives and learning. While this is ominous, to say the least, it is richly rewarding as you transport students to higher understanding and achievement. With a vision of excellence coupled with hard work, extreme effort, and the solid belief that all students are capable, you will discover many miracle-filled moments generated by the excitement of your teaching and your students' desire to learn.

Each day you will also realize many things about yourself as you discover talents that perhaps even you did not know you have. As you challenge student minds to stretch and grow, you will find that you are exploding with new ideas to help students succeed.

Though exhausting on the best of days, your teaching and caring about your students offer vitality and thrills that continuously replenish your energy. No part of this publication—including the drawings, graphs, illustrations, or chapters, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles—may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from ASCD.

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