1st and 2nd year teachers in the Salem-Keizer school district take part in the Mentor Program. One of our assignments this year was to participate in a book study, I chose Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning. In the upcoming series of posts I will reflect on my learning and share how it will impact my teaching, and more importantly, my students’ learning.
According to the 2011-12 Salem-Keizer strategic plan, the district’s vision is that “All students graduate and are prepared for a successful life.” This book, Choice Words, has helped reframe the big picture for these students, and the impact school will/will not have on that.
There is more to a successful life than memorizing multiplication tables or remembering to indent every new paragraph when they write. Increasing attention (chapter 2), personal and social development (chapter 3), sense of agency (chapter 4), and generalizing learning across environments (chapter 5) are all things students need to learn to manage and (hopefully) develop, so that when they are finished with school, relying on themselves everyday instead of teachers, they can successfully navigate the challenges they will face.
I hope I can take this new understanding back to real-life after the break, make it something I can share with parents and teachers during IEP meetings or otherwise.