Goal: What Do You Believe?

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 19

One of my favorite NPR shows is This I Believe where people from all walks of life share their personal beliefs. This is in the form of an essay, which if selected is read on the radio and sometimes shared in a book. Reflection is important for our growth and to solidify our personal beliefs. Sometimes, I will browse through my writings and journals I completed years ago. I like to see what I thought then and evaluate how much these beliefs have been refined. I like to see what I steadily hold on to and which beliefs I have discarded.
We all have first-hand experiences about the learning process. We understand how we learn best. We have spent four years or more learning and testing several learning theories. We have observed the way our students with various learning needs think, evaluate, problem solve, and inquire. We have evaluated how our own children learn. As educators we sometimes forget to reflect on the educational philosophies we wrote when we first started teaching. Are your beliefs about how students learn still the same? Do you still believe the same instructional methods you first used are effective? Do you believe the way you were taught is still relevant for students today?
I know my educational beliefs have changed and today reflection is my short-term goal. However, by the end of the year I want to develop a new educational philosophy. I am a different teacher than when I first started and perhaps you are a bit different, too?

Our Students

We can also inspire our students to reflect on their beliefs. One way is by having them submit This I Believe essays. This statement should focus on one core belief and be 350 to 500 words. Visit the This I Believe website for more tips and to submit your students’ essays. You can take this one step further and have students make a video essay they can share with their peers. Below is a video of Michelle Gardner-Quinn’s This I Believe essay. Many famous actresses are reading this essay, because two days after Michelle wrote this essay she was murdered. Her essay has been shared at the Live Earth concerts and published. You can read the transcript of her essay here.

Please visit Michelle Gardner-Quinn’s foundation, Michelle’s Earth Foundation, that continues to improve the environment.

You can check out this post where I state some of my philosophies about teaching with technology.

Challenge:
Reflect on what you believe and inspire your students to reflect on what they believe.

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This is goal 19 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post with more details!

Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

If you are inspired, tell us what you believe in a video comment! You can also share links to your educational philosophies, students’ belief statements, blogs with belief statements, or videos/ podcasts of belief statements.