My Teaching Manifesto

This manifesto, a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, 
or views of its issuer, was written by me in the summer of 2009.

I promise to spend more time talking and listening to my students. I will get to know all of them better than I have in the past. I will talk to them about their past and their future. I will show them they are important by creating a relationship with them.

I promise to teach students, not content or tools. I will do my best to meet their needs with their learning. I will adapt my classroom to them, not expect them to adapt to my classroom. I will make the tools and content I teach relevant to my students so that they see a reason to learn, not just because it is on the test.

I promise to be more available to my students. I will give them my phone numbers, email address, and Twitter name. I will encourage them to communicate with me outside of school. I will be available to help them with their education when they need help, not just during our class period.

I promise that I will be an advocate for my students. I will speak for them when others talk negatively about them. I will listen to their side. I will try to discipline them out of love and respect, not from anger or annoyance. I will treat them as if they were my own children, because they deserve it.

I believe that when teachers focus on students and nothing else, education will change for the better.


Thankfully, I have had great feedback from the network. There is real value in the conversation between us. Thanks to @willrich45 @dragonsinger57 and others for pointing out the need for this addition. Here is an update to the manifesto.

I promise to model learning in my classroom with my students. It is important that our students see us not as the "great repositories of knowledge", but as individuals that continue to learn as we go. Not only should we model how to learn, but that we continue to need to learn.