Reflecting on My Beliefs: Values + Promises for the Future

Guest Blogger, Julie Wright

On 6/11/20, #G2Great celebrated this chat topic with the artifacts here. We asked Julie Wright to write our chat blog and we are so grateful for her wisdom. Be sure to see how you can explore Julie’s incredible work at the end of her post. We are so honored to share this post:

BELIEFS: CREATING OUR ANCHORS & DIRECTING OUR SAILS

In the book, The Teacher You Want To Be, Heidi Mills and Tim O’Keefe write:  

“The beliefs we hold as teachers matter.  They always have and always will.  Whether we realize it or not, our beliefs actually underpin the moves we make as teachers, regardless of where or whom we teach.  Beliefs also serve as the catalyst for, or limitation of, professional growth and change.” 

Like many of you, I lean on the shoulders of other educators to help guide my thinking and my moves forward.  I appreciate this quote because it gives me courage to name what matters and use that as a catalyst for my own professional growth.  Beliefs are our guide, our command center.  They help us make sense of what is happening around us and ultimately help us chart our course.  Our beliefs, however, don’t show up by happenstance.  They are molded over time and based on our past experiences, background knowledge, and environment.  They are also dynamic, not static.  The more we learn and experience, the more our beliefs can evolve, deepen, or take on a new shape. For me, beliefs are like:

ANCHORS— helping us stay grounded and articulating what matters most in our work 

SAILS — helping us navigate, adjust, and change course when needed

Last week’s #G2GREAT chat is an amazing example of our learning community coming together to name our collective beliefs, build our background knowledge, share our experiences and grow!  The title of the chat, Reflecting on My Beliefs:  Values + Promises for the Future, says so much about beliefs at the onset.  The title affirms the importance of leaning on beliefs to name values and then living out those values, through promises, in the future.  This chat was not filled with educators telling one another what to believe and how to take action. Rather, it was filled with a network of people — ranging from K-12 students through adult learners — naming what matters most and making promises for how they will live out their beliefs in future actions!   

There is so much wisdom and hope tucked inside this chat.  Sometimes, we can let words lead us in powerful directions which is why I decided to use the responses from each question to synthesize the thinking through word art.  Take a look at all of the amazing ideas that stand out!

Question 1:  Because I value my students’ identities, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . .  And this matters because . . .

All of the images were created using Word Cloud at https://www.wordclouds.com/

Question 2: Because I value equity in access, resources, and our 24/7 lives, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

Question 3: Because I value safety (emotional, physical, and psychological) for all my students, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

Question 4: Because I value students “doing the work of learning,” I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .  

Question 5: Because I value feedback that includes verbal, non-verbal and work products, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

Question 6: Because I value choice and purposeful work as well as multiple pathways to “show”  learning, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

Question 7: Because I value learning for myself and all caregivers in our environment, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

Question 8: Because I value joyful teaching and learning, I promise that my instruction and classroom environment will include . . . And this matters because . . .

I enjoyed seeing all of these words come to the forefront of our collective thinking.  Words and ideas connect us.  They give us a common ground.  The words that emerged from our Tweets this week give us common language that brings us together.  Our words inspire, name importance, celebrate, and nudge us to think deeply, sometimes think differently, and always think together in a safe and caring space.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a final word art that synthesizes our entire chat.  

What do WE believe?  What do WE value?  What are OUR promises for the future?


I’m thankful and blessed to be in your company and part of this professional learning think tank.  And, as we know, we’ve still got a lot of work to do.  We have to do our part in listening, studying, researching, reading, writing, talking, noodling, planning, reaching out, and sometimes standing down while other times standing up.  I have confidence that we’ll be nimble in our approaches knowing that as we grow and have new experiences, our beliefs, actions and our promises will evolve too!  We’ll use our past and new knowledge and experiences to anchor our beliefs, adjust our sails and fulfill our promises to the learning communities in which we serve.

Links to contact Julie Wright or learn more about her work

Julies website:www.juliewrightconsulting.com

What are You Grouping For?, Grades 3-8: How to Guided Small Groups Based on Readings for – Not the Book https://www.amazon.com/What-Are-You-Grouping-Grades/dp/154432412X

Future Publications can be found https://www.juliewrightconsulting.com/blog/2020/2/21/writing-to-make-sense-of-our-work-in-schools

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