Teaching with a Heart

Teaching is an important activity, not only because we pass skills and knowledge onto the next generation, but also because as teachers we serve as significant role models for our students. Most of us have ideas about who we want to be as a teacher. Yet the reality of teaching is that we sometimes get carried away under the pressure inside and outside the classroom, and lose sight of who we truly want to be. It helps if we articulate who we truly want to be, not only because it gives a focus to our actions, but also because we commit ourselves more fully to our thoughts, goals, and ideals once they are put into words. In the end it is all about making a difference, and to help make a difference in the classroom I wrote the "Teaching with a Heart Statement" shown below.

Teaching with a heart statement

I have signed this statement, and it now hangs in a frame above my desk. In this way it provides a daily reminder of the teaching principles that I want to follow. In order to commit myself to these principles, I show the statement to students and colleagues when they visit my office; now I have to "live it."

What can you do as a teacher? If the principles of the statement appeal to you, you can download the statement (click on the image above), sign it in the lower right corner, frame it, and hang it in a visible place in your office. You may, of course, want to modify it as you wish so as to make it your own statement. Also you might find it useful to show the statement to colleagues and students because this is a great way to discuss and share our values in education. Finally, in case you choose to use a version of the above statement, I would appreciate it if you could
send me an email message. I would also appreciate any feedback and comments you choose to share. Thank you for helping to make a difference!

Roel Snieder
Colorado School of Mines