Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Every school year has its own ebb and flow, you know?
During some school days its seems as if a term will never end.
Then, we’re shaking our heads at how fast time has flown by.
In the sometimes chaotic classroom conditions we have to manage, it’s easy to be thrown off-balance by distractions that pop up at any given moment.
Distractions can put anyone – teachers, students, and parents – off task.
One way to counter distractions is to pause and refocus on our mission by reading powerful words for powerful teaching.
I had the pleasure of working in the classroom of a veteran fifth grade teacher who has written some powerful words for powerful teaching…
Angie Stafford calls her composition a Philosophy of Education Creed.
Writing the creed, she explained to me, was the best way she knew how to express her professional goals as a teacher.
Her beliefs about children’s capabilities and how she can best nurture them include attentionology in their foundation.
Read for yourself and see if you’re inspired as I have been by these powerful words for powerful teaching…
All children are capable of learning; I am to set the stage for learning and to prompt the learners.
All children are worthy of love and respect; I am to love them and treat them with dignity, even when it is difficult.
All children need to know what is expected of them; I am to provide them with reasonable structure.
All children learn best when actively involved — body and mind; I am to plan and implement meaningful learning experiences.
All children need effective role models; I am to meet the children where they are as individuals.
All children need to be children; I am to remember that they are not mini-adults.
All children can rise to what is expected of them; I am to set high but attainable goals.
All children want to succeed; I am to help them in their quest.
All children have good days and not so good days; I am to be tolerant and forgiving.
All children have a right to an education; I am to teach them. And they will teach me.
Power Teaching includes Attentionology – Where exactly are the ties in this education creed to attentionology.com?
You’ll make your own connections, but here are a few of mine…
1. The opening act in setting the stage for learning must include tools and tricks that catch and keep children’s attention and serve as prompts to help them stay on task.
2. Providing children with reasonable structure includes commanding attention at critical moments in the day.
These moments include instruction time.
3. Using creative and engaging techniques is the best way to command attention and make the most of the limited time that each day offers.
4. Planning and implementing meaningful learning experiences that actively involve children — body and mind — means incorporating activities that hold students’ attention by engaging body and mind.
5. Setting a good example includes showing, as a teacher, your own capability to stay focused and on task.
We need to model the attentionology skills that we hope to help children develop.
6. Meeting children where they are as individuals is a challenging proposition because to do so requires teachers to create individualized attention-getting tools and tricks to help students learn in styles that suit them.
7. In setting attainable goals and helping children on their quests it is mandatory to help children learn to block out distractions in a world full interruptions and disruptions.
8. Tolerance and forgiveness is to accept that, even when you use every attention-getting trick in your teaching toolbox, there will be days when your students and you fall short of your goals.
9. Teaching students and learning from them in the process opens up all kinds of wonderful possibilities for the use of new tools and tricks to catch and keep children’s attention.
As Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite American poets, wrote, “Dwell in possibilities!”
Speaking of poetry, Angie Stafford was inspired to create the poetic form she used in her Philosophy of Education Creed by another teacher’s poetry lesson.
Networking with good ideas and information is one of the best practices teachers can follow. That’s why I hope you will send comments about your best practices to share with other readers.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet