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Spirit Whisperers' New Year's Resolutions

Chick Moorman

In 2002, I resolve not to teach children to have a happy, productive life, but rather to help them choose a happy, productive day.

I resolve to design lessons to help students appreciate that there is no such thing as failure, only temporary results that can be used as feedback to determine their next step.

I resolve to fix problems rather than fix blame by maintaining a solution-seeking mindset and teaching students a problem-solving process.

I resolve to aid students in their struggle with autonomy by creating a balance of power through a shared-control style of classroom management.

I resolve to remember that I want children to behave in ways that reflect what THEY now find unacceptable, not in ways that I, the teacher, find unacceptable.

I resolve to welcome interpersonal skill errors as learning experiences and as important opportunities to implement consequences.

I resolve to teach in a way that demonstrates that I believe the only authority a child takes with her everywhere she goes is her inner-authority.

I resolve to allow my responses to students to reflect a knowing that some lapses in self-control are developmentally appropriate. I remember they do certain behaviors because they are 5 or 8 or 14 years old.

I resolve to aid children in their ability to make "BE" choices as well as "DO" choices.

I resolve to teach in a way that reflects my belief that the process is as important as the product.

I resolve to remember that I don't have to punish a child for her anger. She is already being punished for her anger.

When I am stumped and don't know how to respond to a student, I promise to ask myself, "What would love do now?" I also intend to listen internally for an answer.

I resolve to recall that in any classroom situation I can choose to see it differently. I remember that perception is always a choice.

I resolve to relax, remembering that relaxing does not mean resigning.

I resolve to make my approach to teaching reflect the notion that education is more about drawing out what already exists in the student than it is about putting in to fill perceived deficiencies.

I resolve to focus on the main purpose of education, the creation of who and what I really am as a human being.

I resolve to remember that being right doesn't work.

I resolve to teach as if I believe that a child's I AM'S (I am athletic, I am creative, etc.) are more important than his IQ.

I resolve to live today as if attitudes are more easily caught than taught.

I resolve to help students and myself stay conscious of the choices we are making.

I resolve to remember the adage, "If you want a behavior, you have to teach a behavior"and put it into practice in my classroom.

I resolve to teach for wisdom, which is knowledge applied. I will remember that children are not in school to pass a test, earn a 9-week grade or memorize a poem. They are in school to learn to apply knowledge to their own individual lives.

I resolve to stay conscious of the fact that information doesn't make us happy. No one ever got a divorce, became abusive to self or others, or began an addiction because she didn't know the capitals of all 50 states.

I resolve to help students live in more uplifting ways, reflecting the notion that school is more than a preparation for life. It is life.

I resolve to see the hurting child in the child that hurts.

I resolve to "be" the change I wish to see in education.

I resolve to avoid fighting the educational world that is and work to bring forth the educational world that could be.