I will provide a variety of quality works for my students.
I will teach skills that will help students become better readers rather than teaching a text.
I will be an active reader and share personal reading with my students.
I will learn alongside my students.
I will embrace the ambiguity of multiple interpretations of a text instead of one “right answer.”
I will offer reading at times during class just to enjoy the beauty of words and passages without analyzing the text.
I will provide EPIC (experiential, purposeful, imaginative, and collaborative) lessons.
I will allow students to have choice in their reading.
I will teach writing not just assign writing.
I will give quality feedback on content, style, and craft.
I will confer with students about their writing.
I will be involved in the process of student writing.
I will allow students to experiment with personal style in order to find their unique voice.
I will encourage students to take risks in writing.
I will be an active writer and share my writing with students.
I will provide a variety of mentor texts for students to study.
I will embrace the messiness of learning to write.
I will get to know my students and allow them to know me.
I will be intentional about building community in my classroom.
I will advocate for my students.
I will write reference letters, review college essays, and offer guidance in the college admission process.
I will go to games, plays, concerts, hospitals, baptisms, graduations, funerals, and other events that communicate value and worth to students.
I will enjoy my students.
I will speak words of encouragement and life to students.
I will brew coffee for my students.
I will have a life outside of work.
I will be a positive voice in education.
I will be solution-oriented rather than problem focused.
I will lead how I prefer to be led.
I will strive to bring my best daily but accept my limitations.
To these things will I be true in 2017.
Happy New Year!
Susan Barber is a high school English teacher and department chair at Northgate High School in Georgia. In addition to reading, writing, and investing in the next generation, she loves watching college football especially when Alabama is playing.