January 21, 2016
(Photo credit: Aleta Margolis/Center for Inspired Teaching)
This piece – written by Aleta Margolis, Inspired Teaching’s Executive Director – first appeared in Inspired Teaching’s January newsletter.
Happy New Year! On the first of the year, I was meeting one of my own New Year’s resolutions – taking a two-hour hot yoga class – when our teacher told us about an important companion to our yearly resolutions: an intention.
Setting an intention means defining the purpose that drives all of your resolutions. It means determining, over the long term, to strengthen who you are and who you want to be at your core. It does not start and end in a single year.
Every day, Inspired Teachers set and work towards ambitious and important resolutions in their classrooms, all towards the intention of being ever-more effective.
An Inspired Teacher…
- Challenges students with meaningful, relevant, and interesting schoolwork.
- Establishes and maintains high expectations by holding students accountable, providing intellectually stimulating content, and motivating students to achieve beyond their perceived limits.
- Sparks students’ natural intellectual curiosity, is well-versed in subject matter, and employs many methods of enabling students to learn it.
- Builds a positive and productive relationship with every student.
- Plans each lesson thoughtfully and with a clear goal in mind, continually observes and assesses student learning, and adjusts instruction accordingly.
- Enjoys teaching and embraces new challenges.
- Enables students to become knowledgeable and self-disciplined, with the skills to think and solve complex problems in school and in life.
Together, we are building a better school experience for every child. Out of that mission – Center for Inspired Teaching’s evergreen intention – come our resolutions for the year.
In 2016, we resolve to reach even more students through our transformative teacher training. Starting with a new cohort this summer, BLISS and SCALE Teacher Leaders will work in charter schools as well as DC public schools. We are currently recruiting middle school teachers for BLISS and SCALE and prospective new teachers for the ninth cohort of the Inspired Teacher Certification Program.
We resolve to deepen our connection with current Inspired Teachers. Our first general assembly of the Fellows Advisory Board brought together teachers from every cohort of the Inspired Teacher Certification Program to develop their plan for continuous professional development and community building.
We resolve to share the power of our instructional model with educators, policymakers, and the public at large. Teachers from private, traditional public, and public charter schools sent students to Real World History for a thought-provoking seminar on the works of Ta-Nehisi Coates – the only interschool class of its kind in the city. Teachers at the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School showcased their work and explained the importance of inquiry-based education to sixteen countries through Learning World, a program of Euronews.
Inspired Teaching’s year ahead will be filled with new questions, challenging conversations, and joyful work with learners of all ages as we continue to expand our reach and impact. What are your resolutions for the New Year? What intention will drive the transformative work in your life?