Lou Ann Schmidt teaches hearing-impaired children in Texas. To help her students overcome negative self-images and previous programming, Lou Ann recently facilitated the creation of a class creed.
According to Lou Ann, “I told them a creed is something positive that you believe about yourself. (Editor’s note: This is the voice of structure and the voice of teaching.) I explained that nothing we wrote would be wrong because it was about us. Each child suggested ideas. We refined and improved the contributions, and then combined some to come up with our final document.”
The Class Creed
I am a good student.
I can think.
I can learn and understand.
I can think for myself and nobody else.
I can talk about many different things.
I can have good speech and language.
My memory works well.
I know how to keep going.
“All these statements were positive concepts my young students felt about themselves,” she told us. “ I wrote our class creed on poster board and put it on the wall. We read it every morning together and discuss briefly what it means. These discussions are helping us make these important beliefs come alive behaviorally in our classroom.”
Now, as these students work, they are asked to replace, "I don't get it," or "It's too hard," or “I can’t do it,” with a positive statement from the creed that applies. "I'm excited with the results I am getting,” Lou Ann informed us. “Now, I look forward to every morning and I think they do too.”
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the coauthors of The Teacher Talk Advantage: Five Voices of Effective Teaching. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish a free monthly e-zine for educators and another for parents. To sign up for the newsletters or learn more about the seminars they offer teachers and parents, visit their websites today: www.chickmoorman.com and www.thomashaller.com