Teachers and Faith

The article which I choose to read was Teachers and Faith written by Jonathan Eckert (2011). This article interested me because faith is a very important aspect of my life and I felt like I would relate well with this article. The primary focus of the article was on the issue of public schools being an appropriate place for “teachers of faith who respect the legal and ethical boundaries of this open forum” (Eckert, 2011, p.23). The article supports the claim of a teacher’s faith being important in public schools. This is because good teaching comes from identity and integrity, and teachers are responsible for teaching knowledge, skills, and developing character (Eckert, 2011). Many times resulting from one’s faith is the identity and integrity seen with teachers. Eckert (2011) demonstrates this claim with four examples of faith impacting the way people teach. The examples demonstrate passion and commitment derived from beliefs, not serving out of obligation or recognition but because of a calling (Eckert, 2011). Additionally, Eckert (2011) emphasizes that faith does not necessarily mean a strong teacher, however the calling to teach can be a powerful influence upon teachers. Ultimately the articles main focus is on the issue of faith being an important aspect in teaching even in public schools.

Eckert (2011) suggest many implications between the article topic of faith and teaching and learning. Teaching is of both intellectual and moral practice. Effective teaching expands students’ knowledge, insights, and interests in order to deepen their way of thinking and feeling (Eckert, 2011). This will allow teachers and students to pursue knowledge and truth, therefore replacing misconceptions with understandings. For this to be achieved teachers must move beyond informational transaction of content (Eckert, 2011). Furthermore, Eckert (2011) states that perseverance, diligence, and courage are all dispositions that are ultimately derived from faith. These implications can relate to the four dimensions of character: intellectual, moral, civic, and performance (Eckert, 2011) where faith is positively affecting each. As for aspects relating with students – Eckert (2011) notes that public schools must be a place where religion and religious convictions are to be treated with fairness and respect. This is especially important in creating a safe learning environment where students feel comfortable.  These implications are the focal point of Eckert’s (2011) article on teachers and faith in regards with teaching and learning.

Eckert, J. (2011). Teachers and faith. Kappan, 94(4), 20-23.

bPortfolio, Principles of HOPE, and WAC 181

The relationship between the Principles of HOPE and WAC181 are very similar in that each is a set of standards regarding effective teaching and professional development in our teacher preparation program. The WAC181 is an approval standard of knowledge and skill. This encompasses effective teaching by using various criteria such as adapting standardized curricula for the diverse needs of each student or using technology effectively. It also includes the professional development through reflective, collaborative, and professional practices. Finally, it demonstrates teaching as a profession and performance assessments approved by the professional educator standards board. HOPE focuses on a set of categories of competency outlined in WAC181. HOPE asks educators to honor student diversity, offer an organized and challenging curriculum, practice effective teaching, and exemplify service to the teaching profession. The bPortfolio will document my learning and development as I demonstrate competency in the standards of WAC181 and the Principles of HOPE.

The bPortfolio is where the standards of WAC181 and the principles of HOPE can be demonstrated through my own blog posts. This is an efficient way to reflect and show the knowledge and skills developed through my readings, assignments, and experiences. More specifically, the blog posts will incorporate the reflection of my development as a teacher, teacher or student artifacts demonstrating competency, and reflective assignments. All postings will be aligned in some way with the Principles of Hope and the standards of WAC181. In addition the bPortfolio allows me to organize in such a way that makes entries easily identifiable while maintaining a professional appearance. Through my bPortfolio I am able to emphasize on the Principles of HOPE and WAC181 to show my competence on teaching knowledge and skills.