For me, my success in the classroom will be in two parts.
First, I would like to leave every student with a love of education and a solid grasp of how learning and life interconnect. I would like to teach some of the timeless literature to illustrate the human condition; its choices and challenges. I’d like to teach the arts to give texture and color and sound and rhythm and rhyme to their understanding of being human. I would like to give them a sense of history and how we have come to this place. I would particularly like to leave them literate and fluent in math and science. We are living in a hard science world and to know the gentle parts of life and that hard science is a powerful combination.
At the same time, I am determined to leave my students competent in the standards and capable of demonstrating this in assessments. To do this, my intent is to out ‘essentialist’ the essentialists. If competence is defined as answering questions correctly on an exam then, by golly, that’s exactly, precisely what I will teach them to do. Teach the standard, assess, teach what’s not retained, repeat. No doubt, this will take more time than I have, especially folded on top of top of the progressive/perennial education described above. I think education is important enough to be generous with my time before and after school and to expect students in need of extra help to be generous with their own time as well. With luck, sacrifice and cooperation, we’ll fit it all in and leave the students more than ready for the next step of their life.