Editor’s Note: This post was written in 2012 and has been updated with a few small changes to the original posting including a new featured image as well as an eleventh promise.
Promises are important.
Being an educator can be a lot of fun, but it is serious business. Everyday, we hold the precious lives of children in our hands. We have the opportunity to build them up or tear them down. In addition to this, we have the responsibility to communicate with the families of our students in a kind and respectful manner. These promises are intended to be a reminder that while we are not perfect, we should be held to a higher standard of behavior. I certainly have not kept all of these promises one hundred percent, but they are constantly on my mind and it is the kind of educator that I strive to be. I hope that you find these useful to mull over and come up with your own list to inform your teaching career.
1. I promise to stop calling parents who have high expectations and advocate for their children “high maintenance” and I will equally try to discourage the term “high profile” if due process is involved.
2. I promise to presume competence (always assume that your child can learn and is interested in learning) even if they are unable to communicate to me what they know (yet!)
3. I promise to never use the “R” word and to speak up against it when I hear it used in private or public.
4. I promise to ask your input on the educational goals for your child BEFORE the IEP meeting and realize that without your collaboration we have no team.
5. I promise to remember that YOU were your child’s first teacher and YOU are THE expert on your child.
6. I promise to not say “what are they going to get out of this?” or “they’re not ready” as an excuse for not including your child in general education.
7. I promise to never assume I know what goes on at your home or blame your child’s challenging behavior at school because of your parenting skills.
8. I promise to Always Be Communicating (ABC) with you about your child (especially the positive things).
9. I promise to keep an open mind and realize that what works with one child does not necessarily work with every child.
10. I promise to always have high expectations for your child and never give up on them…or you.
11. I promise to keep telling your child the reasons why I love to be their teacher.
If you agree with these promises or you would like to add some of your own…make a comment, share this with someone you know, or print it out and put it up in your classroom (if you have one). Thanks for your time and attention.
Photo Credit: US Department of Education/Flickr