Sunday, July 6, 2014

Motivate with a Manifesto

What is important in your teaching and the learning that happens in your classroom?
Have you ever created a classroom manifesto?

At the keynote at the Midwest Google Summitt in March, David Jakes challenged us to create our own manifesto about teaching and learning. Yes, I admit that I am a little behind in getting this one done, but everything in its own time, right? It is one more thing I am feeling good about checking off on my to-do list this summer.

Here's the official definition of a manifesto:

So when I read the definition above I think: What is my platform? What am I about? What is important to me? What are the core beliefs that make up Beth as a teacher and learner and that I want to pass along to my students?

1. We all have something to contribute in the classroom.  When everyone in the learning environment is valued as well as the content being taught, the classroom really gets buzzing with learning! That is what should be happening every day in the courses we teach.
2. It is better to be kind than to be right all the time. Try to understand others and if you don't understand their opinions, just let it go. It goes a long way in building a team outlook and a cohesive group or classroom.
3. The "Stuff" of technology does not make you smarter. Technology provides you with new ways to learn and interact with the material. YOU make yourself grow and YOU deepen your knowledge. In the end, you have to do all of the hard work to reach you goals and soar to new new heights.
4. When things get tough, you have to flip on your GRIT switch. This is by far my favorite qualities and has helped me reach some major goals in my life. We all have it, so let's use it.

5. Dig deep for answers to your questions, whatever they may be. Don't be content with what is on the surface. Investigate more. Ask more questions. Go beyond Page 1 of Google Search results! I really like this image- that is exactly where all the good stuff is!

6. Be a quiet leader. Lead by your actions and not your ego. To be a quiet leader you need to listen to others, turn down your "ego volume", keep your cool in stressful situations and never ask of others what you would not do yourself, and most importantly avoid the use of social media to broadcast every single accomplishment.
7. Target a few of your interests/talents and take them to the max! Find opportunities to deepen those strengths and as well as share them with others to make a difference in your classroom and community!

These are a few beliefs that I want to share with my students this coming school year to help guide them in positive directions as they learn. I am going to post them on my classroom door for students to see as they enter and prepare for learning.

I challenge you to reflect and make your own manifesto as well.  The manifesto you create this summer will serve to motivate, inspire and personalize the classroom for both you and your students throughout this coming school year! For further encouragement in your manifesto journey, take a look at David Jakes' post about manifestos out on the Internet, or follow his musings on Twitter @djakes - loads of good stuff!