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The Teacher Tip

Anchoring Yourself to Beliefs

March 5, 2018

Adapted from Kids First from Day One by Christine Hertz & Kristine Mraz. 

We all have a compass inside ourselves that guides our choices in life. If you believe that honesty is a critical trait, you will use that as a parameter when making choices. The same is true for teaching. If you have a series of beliefs about children and teaching, it will help you make critical decisions about teaching and will help you stick through the hard parts. It will also help you wade through the vast resources that will be thrown at you. “Does this match what I believe about children and teaching?” Sorry Shakespeare, but that is actually the question. We aren’t in the business of telling you what to believe, but we do want to share some beliefs that have guided our practice over the years: 

  • Childhood is a distinct and valuable period in life. Children are not in training to be adults; they are whole and complete human beings worthy of deep respect and capable of making choices, thinking critically, and contributing to society as a whole. 
  • Teaching should be tailored to the unique aspects of every child, and all children should feel powerful in their learning journey.
  • Treat children as you wish to be treated. Observe, wonder, support, and challenge. Facilitate and encourage.
  • Building community is a slow and powerful process that can be shortchanged when compliance and control techniques are used. 
  • See your classroom as a microcosm of the world; ask constantly, “Is this a world I would want to live in?”

To learn more about Kids First from Day One and download a sample chapter, visit 

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