An Essential Question: Why Do I Teach?

JANE ATTAH, GRADE 2 TEACHER: Essential questions are meant to be thought provoking and should lead to other questions – questions that stimulate our minds to continuously ask how and what teaching children should be all about.

I know with certainty that all teachers have been asked why they choose to teach. The response is guaranteed to be different and personal for each educator. While some of us like to teach younger, and elementary age children, and others prefer middle school, high school, or college, all of us are fortunate and blessed to step into the classroom, with the goal of working towards fulfilling this essential question.

The more time and years I spend in the classroom, the more I make self-reflection a part of my teaching journey. In Gloria Durka’s book The Teacher’s Calling, she elaborates on teaching as a vocation and how those who teach can tap into their hearts and discover their true purpose for teaching. After fifteen years in the classroom, I can state with absolute conviction that I have found my vocation. Here is how I continue to find unending joy in teaching.
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What is a responsive classroom?

JANE ATTAH, GRADE 2 TEACHER: 

I believe that the most impactful academic learning cannot be decoupled from social-emotional growth.

I believe that what we learn is as important as how we learn, and who we are learning with.

I believe that children who feel safe, who feel valued, and who feel loved will discover they have the potential to reach any academic height.

When I decided to become an educator, I felt strongly and earnestly that it would be crucial to create a learning environment that supports and nourishes both the mind and the heart throughout the school day.

…create a learning environment that supports and nourishes both the mind and the heart throughout the school day.

As a teacher who follows the tenets of a Responsive Classroom method, I’ve seen its incredibly positive learning effect on my young students. This method is a research-based approach to a K-8 curriculum focuses on the strong link between academic success and social emotional learning.

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