Show up, be Present, and Make Space

Shifting your educational philosophy can be transformational, not only for you as a teacher, but for those around you – your learners, your colleagues, your school community, and it may even impact your home life. When you open yourself to the possibilities of this new adventure toward learner-centered education, you will find yourself in constant reflection. Before you take some of the initial steps in preparing lessons, centers, etc., I invite you to develop a credo.

According to a quick Google search, a credo is “a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions.” How will you show up for your learners and support their autonomy? What will it look like to be fully present when your learners are released from traditional teacher-driven strategies and coached to explore learning on their own terms? How will you make space for supporting your learners so they feel confident, trusted, and willing to be vulnerable in this new way of education? What would this credo look like if you are an administrator supporting your educators?

One of my favorite classes that I took as part of master’s degree work was called Art Therapy for Art Teachers. It wasn’t suppose to be part of my journey, but the need to drop another course opened the opportunity to enroll in this one, which was new at the time. Sometimes the universe opens up and guides us to where we need to be, and this was one of those times. That’s a story for another day. In the course, we were assigned to develop our credo. As you begin your journey in learner-centered education, reflect over how you want your beliefs and core values to guide how you show up, be present, and make space for your learners. Use action verbs and positive language. Jot it down, type it, create a drawing or painting, make a digital version – whatever works for you. Hang your credo where you can see it daily. Live your credo. Model your credo through your actions. You will be better for it.

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