Ron Ritchhart speaks of 8 cultural forces at play within a school or learning community, one cultural force being language. A school or a classroom is in itself a little community and language can drastically affect how it functions. As I prepared my classroom this year I focused on how to help students realize their opinions. thoughts and ideas were valued. Thus, my door sign where students are not just students, but mathematicians, friends, scientists, creative etc. This shows students that they are valued and sets the tone for those that walk through my door. I want students to do the thinking as I interact with them. Hopefully my door sign will empower students to see themselves as more than learners and take their journey to a deeper level.
Upon further reflection on Ron Ritchhart words, I might make one subtle change to my door if I were to do it again. Instead of each line saying “YOU ARE,” I would change it to “WE ARE” thus further strengthening our community. With one slight wording change I would take this door from students working individually to what I really want in my classroom, which is group learning. One word changes the whole community and promotes students working together in a cooperative effort instead of a competitive one. But that’s the life of a teacher, always reflecting, changing and growing!