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All Ninth Grade Students Kick the Year off with a Reflection of the Affirmation of Community

In 9th grade English, all teachers’ first significant written assignment is related to the Affirmation of Community. Want to join them? Special thanks to Tameka Woodard and Vicky Waldthausen for their work on this lesson and opportunity to live our Affirmation of Community.

  1. Read the Affirmation of Community 
  2. Then, choose THREE affirmations that you think are particularly important for our community. 
  3. Why are these important to you? You’ve chosen three affirmations because they feel significant to you. Explain why. This might be harder than you think! We might feel, intuitively, that something is valuable and important. But how can we begin to explain why we think that?
    • First, discuss why you've chosen your particular affirmations. Make sure you spend time on each affirmation. You might consider these questions as a starting point (though you don't have to): What about our community, our nation, our world, makes you gravitate towards these affirmations? What about your own experiences makes you feel the significance of your chosen affirmations? What happens when your chosen affirmations aren’t followed?
    • Next, explain how your chosen affirmations might contribute to a positive classroom environment and experience. For example: do your affirmations allow for discussions in which all students should feel comfortable contributing? Do your affirmations allow for students to demonstrate attention to the ideas of others? Do your affirmations allow for criticisms of ideas but not of people? Do your affirmations hold students accountable for their actions and statements?

"I care most that you are being thoughtful and introspective (characterized by examination of one's own thoughts and feelings: thoughtfully reflective) and that you are paying attention to how you express yourself."