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I was watching the Twitter stream and noticed a link to Tyler Rice’s blog Wisdom Begins with Wonder, after reading the linked entry, the link to his Educator’s Oath piqued my interest and I decided to read it. His challenge resonated with the direction I am going as an educator and I took up his challenge.
I challenge each of you to write your own educator’s oath.  Forever consider it to be a work in progress.  Revise it often.  Throw it away and start over.  As you evolve, it should too.
Harold Shaw’s Educator’s Oath – November 13, 2010
I acknowledge that I have a great responsibility, my profession is to educate young people to the best of my abilities. This means facilitating their growth, learning and helping them to become the best version of themselves that they can be.  This means never placing limits on their learning or underestimating what they can accomplish.
To do this I will get to know all of my student’s strengths and weaknesses, and treat each as a unique individual. My classroom will be a student-centered learning environment in which students are given what they need, treated fairly, but will not necessarily receive the same levels of assistance or instruction.

Education is something I do WITH my students, not to them. The focus of my classroom will be learning, not simply doing stuff to stay quiet. In my classroom learning can be messy, it certainly will not be sterile or boring.  My students will be given opportunity to make mistakes safely and learn that failure is not the end, but a new beginning where they will have time to see what happened and learn from those mistakes.

I will provide students with several opportunities for genuine and meaningful learning with peers and mentors. Students in my classroom will have the chance to inquire, to think, and to create, not simply regurgitate information.
I expect students to form their own opinions, beliefs and conclusions. When I challenge those, I will do so respectfully offering other perspectives or more information, not just an answer. I will not indoctrinate my students, coerce or force my or other’s personal opinions and/or beliefs upon them.
My students will engage in relevant real-world learning.  I will strive to facilitate growth in each of my students each day.  I will work to help each student to discover his or her passion and talents and will nurture those traits within them.
I will use technology in the classroom to advance student learning, not simply as a “Wow” factor  gadget.  I will use technology that students will use beyond school or as the basis for future use of similar tools.  As technology continues to expand exponentially the tools that we are using today will be obsolete and replaced by something different.
Students will need to be able to adopt the new technology that will be developed and will need the skills and confidence to adapt to those changes.
I will cherish every day, every moment that I am able to spend in the classroom working with students.  Each student is a treasure, even though at times, some may severely challenge me.  I will display my humanity to my students without taking out my personal frustrations on them and will apologize to my students when I inevitably make mistakes.
I will treat my students and their families with respect, honesty, and humility and I will advocate for all of my students whenever possible.
I will never cease to learn and grow as an educator and will humbly share my learning with my fellow educators to help improve their practice and mine. I acknowledge that my knowledge and skills are built upon that which I have gained from others. I will not stand for the status quo and will support policies and practices that will truly benefit students.
I recognize that I have learned through experimentation and failure and that I have, at times, failed my students and myself, but I will always be a reflective educator, learning from the mistakes that I have made. I will never consider myself or my teaching to be a “finished product.”  There is always room for improvement and I will seek out ways to continue improving.
As much as I love my profession and believe in its importance, I will keep it in perspective.  My profession is still only a job, it is not who I am and is not more important than my family or my health.  I cannot change the world by myself.  I cannot “save” every student, but I will not give up on any student.  I will always hope that a student will become open to making positive changes in their lives.
Finally, I will be myself and show that I genuinely care for my students.
Below is the Wordle for my Educator’s Oath:

Here is the link to the Original Educators Oath

What have you done to make a difference today?

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