The Captivating Teacher Manifesto

I want to be captivating. I want to entrance students with my subject. I want students fascinated to walk into my classroom.

I am the teacher of THIS subject. I can't make all their subjects captivating, that isn't my job. I can speak of the importance of English, Math, Science, History and pull a little into my topic, but I will make my class one they want to come to.

I will be that teacher who captivates them. 

When I see the spark in their eyes, I will fan it with my energy, excitement, and education in the subject until it flames into a bonfire that will never go out.

I will drive myself to be interesting and interested in what interests my students. I will be on top of my game and push myself to innovate more and be more.

I will never let a filing cabinet of lesson plans determine what is next. I will take every lesson and add one innovative element and do ONE thing differently.

I will take the lessons that I know bore students and MAKE THEM BETTER.

I will take those lessons that get students EXCITED and figure out what it is about those lessons and DO THAT MORE.

I'm not here to ENTERTAIN or BABYSIT, I'm here to EDUCATE, ENGAGE and EXCITE them about learning.

I will gamify my classroom and allow them to LEVEL up their learning in ways that give HONEST praise for ACHIEVEMENTS earned and an understanding of FAILURE that it is part of the learning journey, not a dead end. I will never give false praise or let kids lie in thinking that they are failing when they are learning. I will never say a child is learning when they are just taking up space. Honesty is part of what I do. Students and teachers trust my word and integrity so when I speak, everyone knows it is out of a sincere heart.

My classroom will be a safe place of mutual respect, common sense, and discipline. It won't feel like a toboggan ride down a virgin hillside, but an intentional trek on a journey of discovery.

When I see the spark, I'll see the possibility another flame has begun.
When I see my students hurry to class, I'll know I've won.
When they are so excited that they are teaching me and each other more than I'm teaching them, I'll know I'm done.

They have been captivated and are becoming captivating teachers themselves.
I don't make students, I inspire teachers, leaders, and thinkers to make themselves more.

I don't make copies in school, I make originals.
My students aren't numbers, they are individuals.

Each one has a unique mystique that I will use to pique their interest in a personalized way.

While I teach among fantastic teachers, I have to teach like I'm the only excited, professional teacher that they will see all day. Not every teacher relates to every student. I will fall flat on some of them, but  I will work at being captivating, I am the only classroom I can control. I am the only teacher teaching this subject this year.

Being captivating starts with lighting my own fire of learning, love, and longing every day.
I will learn something new every day.
I will love my students.
I will long to be the teacher who doesn't give up, gives all she has, and gives kids hope for their future.

I will capture my own negative attitudes, trite platitudes, and wobbly incertitudes and turn them into
grateful gratitude, unstoppable aptitude, and a determined mood as I
and conclude that my students will not delude me or elude me!

I will do whatever it takes to reach them, teach them, and touch them.
They are made in God's image and deserve my respect. I will be the captivating, loving, unstopping teacher that I want my own children to have.

My classroom isn't about me, my convenience, or my own way – it is about my students. It is always about my students.

I don't expect them to love me. I don't yearn for popularity. I want a reputation. A reputation for being fair, for loving my subject and for loving them.

They are children and I am an adult. I have control over my emotions and can choose my response to life. I'll flee any lunchroom, locker room, or teacher's room that zaps my energy and attitude with negativity.

I'll pray every day and look for new ways to reach these kids.

These precious students are mine
I'll love them all the time
To teach them things they couldn't
and lots of things they wouldn't
have ever done without me,
a teacher, the modern nobility.

Photo Credits: Big Stock, used under license. No permission for reuse.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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