"Teaching is an art, using instinct and intuition, but it is also a science, requiring knowledge of research findings related to both human development and subject content," writes Pam Schiller in the Beginnings Professional Development Workshop, The Intentional Teacher. "Intentional teachers blend art and science to achieve optimum outcomes for their students. They use their intuition to fine tune, but they base the core of their practices in scientific research."
"Every teacher's goal is to help children move forward in their educational journey. An intentional teacher has a map (knowledge of development and research) and a plan for this journey. The intentional teacher consults the map often, uses intuition to make detours when necessary, and always keeps his or her thinking on how to best pack each child's suitcase with the essential tools that will be needed for a joyful and productive journey."
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Every day I go into my class of 3 to 5 year-olds with the intention of being a caring, respectful teacher. I want to listen to what they have to say, observe what they do (or don't do) and help them understand their feelings and those of others. I want to provide spaces that promote their curiosity and creativity and create a welcoming environment for all of the children. I want to help the children view school as a good place and I want to them to know that I am there for them. This how I intentionally teach.
I am not a fan of international teaching. First, I have to wonder, what is unintentional teaching? Second, it implies that the teacher knows what the child needs, while the child does not.Third, it is based on the view that we have solid research for most of what we do with young children, and we don't! Finally, unfortunately much of what we do with children is political, and not based on either research or children's educational needs - and thus research that clearly shows the need for well reimbursed teachers is not implemented, and research that shows the negative impact of high-stakes tests is ignored.