Be the change, being a teacher, new year

Does Your Vision Show?

image from icanread

I have a vision for my classroom every year.  One based on experience, but also on hope.  One that speaks to the bigger goals, those outside the curriculum, those outside the standards.  We focus on courage, passion, and dreaming.  On embracing our mistakes.  On bringing the world in.  On becoming better people.  On focusing on each child as if they are the only child there.

Thursday morning I officially accepted a 7th grade English position in the Oregon School district here in Wisconsin.  I accepted nervously, what do I know about 7th graders?  And yet, every time I interacted with people from this district I thought of how well my own vision for the classroom fit into the district’s vision for all students.  When I spoke to teachers they spoke of the focus on each child.  When I spoke to parents, they spoke of the creative opportunities given all kids.  Wen I spoke to administration, the passion shone through.  Sure, it fits with their mission statement, but they are also embodying it in everything they do and everything they say.

We get so wrapped up in our mission statements that we sometimes forget about the passion, the curiosity.  We carefully select words that we hope represent what we want to say  and yet often the people representing the district; teachers, parents, students are not mirroring the message.  They aren’t living it because other things have taken their time and focus.

So look at your own classroom, your school, your district.  Are you proof of the passion?  Are you proof of the vision?  If not, why not?  What is holding you back?  In the end I gave a resounding yes to their job offer because I didn’t have to ask what their goals were, what they were passionate about, they had already shown me. Are you?

I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” can be pre-bought now from Powerful Learning Press.   Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

2 thoughts on “Does Your Vision Show?”

  1. Pernille, as a proud former teacher and current principal, your words have spoken to me, yet again. In particular, when you challenge your readers, “So look at your own classroom, your school, your district. Are you proof of the passion? Are you proof of the vision? If not, why not? What is holding you back?”

    These are questions we should ask ourselves daily, as students, teachers, and principals. And reading your latest blog has served to remind me of to contemplate these, so thank you.

    Best wishes on your move to work with middle school students. Seventh grade is such a unique and exciting grade, and the students need strong, patient role models who are willing to provide them opportunities to learn that their voices matter as much as how they choose to use them. I am looking to forward to following and sharing the work you do with your middle school students. Thank you for being a role model for others to follow!

    Dennis Schug @djrschug

  2. Dear Pernille,
    As a middle school principal I am thrilled you are moving into 7th grade!!! It is a wonderful grade and the students present many challenges and joys. They are in need of a compassionate teacher who will provide them with scaffolding, rigor and empathy. They want their voices to be heard as they begin the journey to find out “who they are.” You have been an inspiration to me this year and I am looking forward to your thoughts and experiences as you move into the world of the young adolescent!! Enjoy—

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