H3-Honor the classroom/school community as a milieu for learning. This standard suggests that it is my responsibility to honor and participate in the many different types of learning events and activities offered in my school community. Believing this, I participated in many different after-school events to support and participate the interests and passions of my students. One particularly memorable event I attended toward the end of my internship was BHS’s 9th Annual “Spoken Word Night.”
This evening is celebrated each year as an opportunity for students to express, explore and share what cannot be seen on paper— a performance of word-based poetry. More than twenty students showcased their own work and the meaningful works of other poets. The evening was organized and orchestrated by a student who explained that this event was so close to her heart because it was an occasion for her to experience her peers in new way, an opportunity for her and her schoolmates to peel off some of the layers that otherwise insulate them from one another. She remarked that there is something remarkably beautiful and intimate about seeing students share pieces of their soul, pieces that would otherwise be imperceptible or concealed in daily hurried hallway greetings or lunch-time chats. And this is what it means to honor the classroom and school community as an occasion to learn not only academically, but also in every other way—to learn more about who we are as human beings and how we fit into the greater human story. As I began my Master’s program to become a teacher, a professor shared a quote from the longtime Harvard University professor and distinguished twentieth-century educational psychologist, Jerome Bruner: “We need a surer sense of what to teach to whom and how to go about teaching it in such a way that it will make those taught more effective, less alienated, and better human beings” (Bruner, 1996, p. 118). This quote has become the foundation for my personal philosophy and as I begin my teaching career, I will be actively involved and supportive of student events such as “Spoken Word Night” in order to encourage all aspects of student interest, growth, and development.