Monday, September 17, 2007


B is for Belief

As a teacher, I must always keep in mind the power of my students’ beliefs about themselves. At every moment during English class, my students are believing something about their own powers, and these beliefs affect all their work in class. The fact is that there’s an enormous power constantly at work inside them, and it’s simply the power of belief. Their success or failure in English depends primarily on what they’re believing. My job as one of their teachers is to assist them in developing positive beliefs about themselves, particularly about their ability to be excellent high school readers and writers. I want them to deem themselves worthy students of English, and to develop the habit of placing trust in their own abilities. If they believe they can understand Dickens and write sophisticated literary essays, they’ll be half way to the goal. It would be wonderful if, as the year progresses, the idea in each of my students that he or she can be a brilliant reader and writer gains gradual credence. It would be wonderful if the students, little by little, give credit to themselves as exemplary readers and writers. I guess I’m talking about simple faith – the faith that they can accomplish more than they ever thought possible in English class. If they believe they can do it, they more than likely will.

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