Critical Teaching Manifesto


I am a married 37 year old middle class white female settler living on and benefiting from treaty 6 land. My pronouns are she/her.  I am a mother to 2 daughters. 

I believe that education is for addressing our past mistakes and creating a brighter future, by assisting the children of today to become curious and critical thinkers.  Our children are our future.  

I believe the purpose of teaching is to provide each and every child with the optimal environment and support(s) to guide them towards their own self discovery and engaged living. 

I believe that each child regardless of culture, race, gender or socio-economic standing is equally important, and has something amazing to offer the world.  However our past has not left us all on level ground, as our society has been made for male white settlers.  I will question these practices and use teaching strategies such as inquiry and co-operative group work and diversified resources to engage my students in questioning: 

Why is it this way?  

How could it be better?

How do we get there?

I believe that education cannot happen without connection.  There needs to be a connection between each student and myself, a connection from student to student and a student’s connection with who they are, and where they come from.  

I believe that learning cannot happen when an individual does not feel safe and valued.  

I commit to creating an all inclusive and safe environment where every students past and present is represented positively.  

I commit to taking the time and making the effort to learn about and build relationships with each student.  

I commit to creating a classroom atmosphere that is comfortable and adaptable, that gives the student a choice of how they learn best.

I commit to making the learning about the students and not about my teaching.  I will do this with group work and inquiry driven teaching methods.

I commit to always offering some level of choice and variety for students, in how they learn and how they will be assessed (what form of project)

I commit to teaching for a purpose, always asking myself, “why am I teaching this (why is this important), what do I want the students to know, and how can I observe that knowledge.  

I commit to always seek to learn more, to question my practices and my choices and to reflect on my teaching.  From these reflections I will seek advice, assistance and knowledge to help guide me on my path.  I will not be the same teacher tomorrow as I was today.  Everyday I will make mistakes, have successes and then reflect on those mistakes and successes to be a better teacher the next day.

I view all my students as young plants, all at different states of development. Some plants might come to my classroom that have been tended to by expert gardeners and others may have only received the minimum water and sunlight to stay alive. Others may have conditions that impede there ability to soak in the sun and absorb the water. Where ever they come from and whatever state of growth they are in, my vision is to be their greenhouse and novice gardener, who is always looking to reflect and grow in her trade. As a novice gardener I will be equip with many skills needs to properly identify each plant and decipher what that plants growing needs are. I will also be equipped with a well rounded toolbox with as many different tools and resources as possible to help me tend to each plants individual needs. While I can not control the environment that they will live in outside of my greenhouse, when they are in my green house they will receive the sun and the water and the optimal growing environment that they individually need to thrive. As they begin to thrive they will gain the ability and confidence to seek sun and water, and hence continue to thrive. As they grow bigger and sturdier, they will release back into the world their knowledge, and individual perspectives which will not only help to tend other plants that they encounter through their lives, but also to make our habitat even better.   The healthier all the plants in the habitat are, the stronger the habitat is.