Education Creed Includes Attention-ology

Hi and welcome back to Attention-ology for K – 5 Teachers!

I had the pleasure of working recently in the classroom of a veteran fifth grade teacher who has written 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 attention-ology in their foundation. Read for yourself and see if you’re inspired as I have been by Angie Stafford, author of this Philosophy of Education Creed…

I believe:

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.

Where exactly are the ties in this creed to attention-ology? You’ll make your own connections, but here are a few of mine…

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.

Providing children with reasonable structure includes commanding attention at critical moments in the day. These moments include instruction time. Using creative and engaging techniques is the best way to command attention and make the most of the limited time that each day offers.

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.

Setting a good example includes showing, as a teacher, your own capability to stay focused and on task. We need to model the attention-ology skills we hope to help children develop.

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.

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.

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.

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 (I’ve modified the structure for this blog) from Mrs. Fracker’s poetry lesson. Networking with good ideas and information (a goal of my blog!) is one of the best practices teachers can follow.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in instructional settings!

Talk with you next week,

Barbara The Lovable Poet

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