Commitment is as much a mindset as it is a set of actions. So, this year, I am committing. I am committing to 100%.
I commit to 100% of my students being 100% engaged, 100% of the time. This means that if I or another student am talking, all eyes are on the speaker, all voices are off, and all attention is focused on processing what the speaker is saying. This also means that during labs and explorations, each and every student is actively problem-solving, collaborating, asking questions, and seeking answers. If these expectations are not met, I will not scream, I will not yell, I will not be angry, I will just ask that my students do it again. And do it again. And do it again. Children rise to the expectations I set.
I commit to 100% of my students reaching their growth goals in academics. This means that my student reading at the first grade reading level in the fifth grade will receive individual tutoring to give him the support he needs to grow leaps and bounds. This also means that my students coming in already mastering 80% of the course content will be challenged to lead classes themselves and do a deep study of extension topics that are one, two, or even three grade levels above their current grade.
I commit to 100% of my students mastering the course content and skills, skills that will set them up for success far into their futures. I will track data relentlessly to catch any students falling through the cracks in understanding. I will think creatively to be an effective explainer. I will empower so that students are masters of their own learning.
I commit to 100% of my students reaching their growth goals in character. I will see the strengths in every child, and help him or her develop those strengths. I will nurture trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, kindliness, and community. I will work with students to set personal goals that they are invested in reaching, and celebrate with them as they work towards those goals.
I commit to never, ever, insist on anything less than 100%.
Originally posted as part of my series on Students for Education Reform. Please leave comments there: http://www.studentsforedreform.org/2011/11/10/memo-from-the-trenches-my-commitment-for-the-school-year/