Habit of Mind 5

Habit of Mind #5: To be morally, ethically-grounded deliberators, living and working with integrity.


            To me this habit of mind represents professionalism because of the nature in which these words like morally, ethically, and integrity are used.  As teachers we must decide for ourselves what is moral and ethical within our life and in our classroom.  What may seem right and make sense to me might be different than another teacher.  We struggle as teachers to be upstanding role model’s for our students and our community.  Due to this we must also take the community in which we teach in to account when deciding what our morals are.  To know what is right and what is wrong can be a difficult thing sometimes when we as teachers are in new environments.  

            I feel as if my actions within the classroom and outside represent this habit of mind the best.  From the beginning of the semester until now I have changed how I act not only in the school setting but also in my everyday life.  I think it is easy for people to say one thing and live another way.  A philosophy that I have come to embrace during my student-teaching has been “we are not teaching students WHAT to learn but HOW to learn.” My mentor teacher said this to me in passing one day and I don’t think he realized how important it was to me. I really thought about it and realized how we as teachers have such an important role in these young adults’ lives.

            I can remember one lesson where we were talking about stem cell research and the different debates for both sides. I gave them a worksheet with general questions over the article, but the last question asked them what their stance on stem cell research was. I think this was a very important question because it forced students to evaluate their ethics and morals and then apply them to this very complex and controversial subject. Reading the answers I was very impressed at the maturity and passion in the responses. I think it is important as educators to give kids a chance to sound off on controversial topics because it forces them to use critical thinking skills and make an opinion. I was a little hesitant to use the stem cell article because I did not want to offend anyone or try to force my views on the students.  However, having learned how to be a professional throughout the student-teaching seminars and different readings we have had I managed to teach the lesson on stem cells with the highest of integrity and ethics. stem-cell-wksht artifact

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