The responsibility of educating our children has fallen primarily to the professional educator. We are required to teach content and asked to teach values and morality. We have become more than simply dispensers of knowledge, but have evolved into caretakers. It is of the utmost importance, then, that we have an unambiguous understanding as to where we are going and how we want to get there. Reflecting on the magnitude of this responsibility has caused me to evaluate my personal responsibilities as an educator and has obliged me to develop a mission statement that can guide me as I instruct my students. My statement of mission is as follows: It is my responsibility as a professional educator to confidently advance the cause of education; to develop in each student the desire to be a life-long learner; and to provide the direction and resources that each student will require to be an active learner and a contributing member to society. It is my responsibility to teach each student how to effectively question the validity of an apparent truth so that the search for that truth will be as meaningful as the answers that are found. It is my responsibility to show each student that the ultimate goal of education is to make a positive difference in another person’s life and that by going beyond themselves they will be happier and more satisfied with their lives.
It has been said that, “If you don’t know where you are going than any place is good enough.” Today’s educators cannot afford to end up just “any place”. Peter Frank shared in his article Becoming a Reflective Teacher that, “Exemplary teachers develop a purposeful, systematic inquiry into their personal theories about teaching and learning, and their practices are guided by what they discover (Frank, Fall 1999).” Developing a mission statement that will guide my instruction is paramount to my success. A mission statement gives me goals to work towards and a basic platform to work from. Developing my philosophical mission is the first step in creating a more comprehensive plan of instruction. Once the mission statement has been developed a workable action plan that will implement the key components of my mission statement needs to be fashioned.Five goals that will help me to live my mission are:
1. To teach my students how to identify some of the key issues that they are facing now as well as those issues that might impact them in the future.
2. To teach my students how to more effectively reflect upon the cause and effect relationships of key issues.
3. To teach my student how to ask effective and meaningful questions.
4. To help my students understand how reaching out makes a positive difference in their own lives.
5. To help my students understand how reaching out makes a positive difference in another person’s life.