Using Mentor Texts to Create Class Creeds

Earlier this week, I invited students to explore the notion of creating a class creed or contract by examining ones we found online and then brainstorming ideas for what they valued and wanted to include in a collective belief about each class.  Not only was I highly impressed by the thoughtfulness and insight the students demonstrated in the discussion, but the final products for each hour were distinct and reflective of the class “identity.” 

Similarly, my belief that I too should be an active writer, a participant in our learning community, I crafted a Teacher’s Creed of my own.  In complete this exercise, I found that this is something I would like to repeat each year and wonder how interesting it will be to see how my beliefs, expectations and vision change…or remain the same over time.

My Teacher’s Creed:
I believe in the power of each person’s potential regardless of the beautiful differences that distinguish us one from another.  I aim for excellence and hold my students in high regard.  I bring my entire heart, mind, and soul into the classroom and long for my students to do the same.  The ferocity with which I detest indifference, apathy, superiority and indolence is equaled only by the intensity with which I will support courage, creativity, respect and integrity.  I believe my students are a reflection of my success.  I aim to empower each student so he may know that the choice of failure or success is within his control.The pages of my life’s story are forever being written and revised with the introduction of each new character and the changing of every scene.  I am humbled to be joining these students as we encounter the twists and turns of this yet unknown tale.  I am a teacher.

First Hour:
We believe school should be a place that values both learning and laughing.  Our time beyond the school day is just as important to our education.  We believe that the work expected of us at home should be related to how we chose to use our time in class.  We should be heard and considered.  We should have a say in how we learn and what we learn.  We should be treated fairly, which may not always be equally.  We are in control of where we go in our lives because the choice to fail or succeed in our rests in our hands.  We should do the best we can to be alert and focused within the school setting.  Our measure of success is more heavily weighed by effort, and if we try, we cannot fail.  Assessment should part of our everyday learning process and not an isolated test or quiz that we fear.  We have the power to make choices.  We are Portland Middle School students. 

Second Hour:
We believe that the decisions we make today will affect our whole lives and how far we go in our education and behavior can determine how far we go in our lives.  No matter who we are, we all should have some set standards.  Regardless of what others do, we pledge to follow our own code of conduct.  We are like individuals with our own talents and abilities.  We will treat our fellow classmates with respect and actively help those in need.  We hope to reach for the stars academically, morally, and ethically to be the best we can be.  We should live life to the fullest because today will never happen again.  We can accomplish more together than we can independently.  Working together we have the power to change the world.  We are Portland Middle School Students!

Third Hour:
We believe we can all be challenged to the max over time.  We believe that hunger inhibits our learning.  We believe that seventh graders should have first lunch.  We believe that it’s not easy being cheesy.  Everyday mistakes are part of our learning experiences.  If we don’t hold back, we can complete anything.  We believe that what we think is the bare minimum of what we can actually accomplish.  We are Portland Middle School students!

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8 Responses

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  1. Mr. Cornwell 09/23/2009 at 10:22 am | | Reply

    Love the class creeds! Now take what you believe to be true in ELA and carry it over to your other classes and your other classmates and discover the real potential that Portland Middle School possesses!

    I think your 3rd hour creed could hold true for most 7th grade classes during 3rd hour. [I am so glad I get to eat 8th grade lunch;)]

  2. jenna d 09/28/2009 at 8:19 am | | Reply

    I agree with all the class creeds.

  3. Carly M. 09/28/2009 at 9:20 am | | Reply

    lol i liked this lesson. It was interesting that mrs. cornwell promised to do all these things for us! She’s a great teacher 😀

  4. andrew p 09/28/2009 at 9:25 am | | Reply

    i couldnt agree more. i think that the dessicions we make effevt our future for better or for worst.

  5. lily w. 09/28/2009 at 10:42 am | | Reply

    I agree that seventh grade should have first lunch. When you make a mistake then just move on.

  6. karl n 09/28/2009 at 12:07 pm | | Reply

    to long need more flavor you still do good on detail.

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