I need to find connections that will dispose children to certain attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge. I must be able to share in the teaching by hearing the connections students are making. Collaboration is strong and more powerful than any form of teaching in isolation. Integration of curriculum is more meaningful than confining learning to specific subjects. Facts and fragmented ideas do little to change values and views of the world. To build a network that supports important ideas is critical to today's educator and learner. This is why I create a classroom of learners who have the ability and tools for investigation, verification, and reflection.
Objectives for myself involve setting a tone for the environment where children are comfortable to talk about books with me and their classmates. I will not allow any one to belittle any one's ideas or unusual comments about a book. I will be sincerely interested in what each child has to say. I have found that the best questions and activities are sabotaged unless students feel that what they say and do is of value. I must make them feel secure and valued. Objectives for the students are to honor and respect each person's comments, ideas, and work. They will be risk takers and feel safe in expressing themselves. They will give only, "Put Ups, No Put Downs". They will give each other encouragement. This is confidence building for all; appreciative statements like, "That's a great thought, I never viewed it like that before" or "That's interesting, tell me more" are pleasurable to even the most confident student.