Wrapping Up This Blog SeriesOver the past couple months I have described various ways in which I try to establish a sense of purpose with my students so that they understand why committing themselves to academic pursuits matters and so that they find their work meaningful and relevant to their present and future lives. Specifically, there are four main tools I use to try to establish purpose.

The first is the classroom aim, a topic I focused on during Parts 2 and 3 in this series. Because the aim establishes a group’s highest priorities, drives decisions, and determines goals, it is the starting point in our efforts to establish purpose. In his book Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming’s Quality Principles in Classrooms, Superintendent Lee Jenkins describes the aim as the bull’s-eye of the organizational target.


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Introduction to This Blog Series


Establishing a sense of purpose is one of the most important responsibilities teachers face at the beginning of each new school year. Over the next several weeks I will share a variety of ideas that I have used to help students better understand why it is important to come to school every day, work hard, and learn as much as possible.


Choosing a Classroom Aim (Part 3 of the Series)


After learning of the pioneering work done by the Enterprise School District in Redding, California at the beginning of my career, I decided to adopt a classroom aim for the 1997-1998 school year.  Rather than adopt Enterprise’s aim of “Maintain learning while increasing enthusiasm” verbatim, I chose to modify it.

Published in Blog

Introduction to This Blog Series

Establishing a sense of purpose is one of the most important responsibilities teachers face at the beginning of each new school year. Over the next several weeks I will share a variety of ideas that I have used to help students better understand why it is important to come to school every day, work hard, and learn as much as possible.

 


The Overall Aim (Part 2 of the Series)

The process of establishing purpose begins on a general level with the introduction of the classroom aim.  The aim is the overall objective you and your students work to accomplish.  The first brick in the foundation of a quality classroom, the aim begins to answer the question, “Why are we here?”  Once introduced, the aim pervades every aspect of class functioning, driving decisions and determining goals.

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