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How Matters – The 4 I’s: Hooray for Monday

May 3, 2021

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President, Center for Inspired Teaching

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students. 

Throughout April we explored Inspired Teaching’s 4 I’s.
Read previous posts on Intellect, Inquiry, Imagination, and Integrity

Educators engage in a great deal of discussion and debate around what we should be teaching our students. And that’s important. Content matters.

Equally important, however, is how we teach. Our how starts with the mindset we bring to our work as teachers – from lesson planning to engaging students in instruction to the reflection process that informs our next set of plans. If our mindset, our how, involves delivering the material to our students, we’ll likely have some success, but we are unlikely to inspire our students or turn them on to the material.

But if our mindset, our how, is to inspire our students, we’ll start a joyful chain reaction, and the learning will continue long after the lesson ends. That’s where the 4 I’s come in.

While each of the 4 I’s has its own definition, they function together as one whole. When the 4 I’s are infused into a lesson, a project, or an entire school culture, students and teachers embrace the following mantra every time they engage in learning:

I am well informed (Intellect), approach challenges with wonder (Inquiry), push through limits (Imagination), and am mindful of my impact on others (Integrity).

Regardless of the content we’re learning – math, history, literature, science, arts – we’re building intellect, inquiry, imagination, and integrity.

As you plan your next lesson and necessarily focus your mind on the content you want your students to learn, challenge yourself to embrace a 4 I’s mindset: I am going to teach my students to [listen attentively to their classmates/multiply fractions/analyze a Shakespearean sonnet] by building in them intellect, inquiry, imagination, and integrity.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! I appreciate you – for reading Hooray For Monday, for sharing with me the ways you implement it in your schools and classrooms, and most of all for teaching our young people to love learning.

Wishing you a joyful week.