Engaged Teaching Approach

“Excellent teachers don’t develop full-blown at graduation; nor are they just “born teachers.” Instead, teachers are always in the process of “becoming.” They continually discover who they are and what they stand for, through their dialogue with peers, through ongoing and consistent study, and through deep reflection about their craft.”  —Sonia Nieto (2009, p.125)

Engaged Teaching is a life-long practical approach to teaching and learning that improves social, emotional and academic outcomes and fosters a sense of meaning, purpose, and motivation in the classroom.  The practices and principles are designed to be integrated into any classroom and to transform and improve how we teach and how we engage with our students and colleagues. At the heart of the Engaged Teaching Approach are the five dimensions of engaged teaching:

Five Dimensions no icons w title 5.3.13
Each of the dimensions of engaged teaching includes practices and principles that support educators to develop a more intentional, rewarding and effective teaching practice and support students to think creatively and critically, excel academically, manage their emotions, communicate effectively, and work with people who are different from themselves. These are the 21st century skills and capacities that young people need to survive and thrive in our complex world.

Practices & Principles of Engaged Teaching

Cultivating an open heart: Expressing warmth, kindness, care, compassion; cultivating connection (teacher-student and student-student); and intentionally engaging in practices that build trusting, inclusive learning communities

Engaging the self-observer: Cultivating the aspect of ourselves that can notice, observe, and then reflect on our thoughts, beliefs, biases, emotions, and actions to make more conscious choices about our actions; includes fostering self-observation or “self-science” in students as well

Being present: Engaging in the ongoing process of bringing attention to the present moment and learning to manage distractions so we can be responsive, aware, focused, and creative in the classroom; includes supporting students to develop learning readiness—the capacity to pay attention, focus, and engage

Establishing respectful boundaries: Respectfully establishing clear and compassionate boundaries for ourselves (self-discipline) and with others—in the classroom and in our school communities; includes supporting students and the learning community with a proactive approach to classroom management

Developing emotional capacity: Developing emotional intelligence, expanding our emotional range, and cultivating emotional boundaries so we can effectively address a range of feeling states in ourselves and others ; includes supporting students in developing their capacity to express and manage emotions

Cultivating our own authentic teaching practice is about each of us discovering our own unique gifts, building on our strengths, learning from others, and engaging in lifelong learning. It is about building on our best qualities, fostering meaningful and effective relationships with students, and connecting or reconnecting with our passion for teaching.

In short, the Engaged Teaching Approach will support you to :

1.          Create and sustain an authentic teaching practice
2.          Employ meaningful classroom practices related to the five dimensions
3.          Engage and collaborate with colleagues with increased skillfulness and heart