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Dedicated to Teachers

5 Beliefs that Support Amazing Teachers

KidsFirstFromDayOneBlog-1 “Every decision we make as teachers is a reflection of our core beliefs and values.”

—Christine Hertz and Kristine Mraz

Classrooms are more than spaces where children learn to read, write, and solve math problems. They are communities where kids learn to become engaged and thoughtful citizens who think critically about the world around them.

Download a Sample Chapter of Kids First from Day One!

It is our responsibility to create classrooms where students can learn skills beyond the rote, that extend to their very ways of interacting with, and perhaps changing, the world. The beliefs that inform your teaching make all the difference. Below are five core beliefs that center children, encourage a growth mindset, and support amazing teaching.


1. Childhood is a distinct and valuable time of life

Children are not in training to be adults, they are whole, complete human beings worthy of respect and capable of making choices, thinking critically, and contributing to their community.


2. Every child deserves differentiated instruction

Teaching should be tailored to the unique aspects of every child and each child should feel powerful in their learning journey.


3. Treat children as you would wish to be treated

Teach, don’t tell. Observe, wonder, support, challenge, facilitate, encourage.


4. Controlling is not teaching

Building community is a slow but powerful process that can be sabotaged by compliance and control techniques.


5. Reflect on your classroom every day

Classrooms are microcosms of the world, so ask each day: “Is this classroom a world I would want to live?”


Perhaps some of these resound with you, maybe they don't, but you need to believe something. It will change over time, expect that, but  knowing what you believe maintains your integrity and your vision for what is possible. Take time and space to think through your beliefs.


Learn more about Kids First from Day One at Heinemann.com

Download a Sample Chapter of Kids First from Day One!



Christine Hertz is coauthor of the Heinemann titles Kids First from Day One and A Mindset for Learning. She finds great joy and challenge in helping all children grow as independent and engaged students. She is passionate about keeping play and creativity at the center of children's lives and curiosity and wonder at the heart of learning. Christine has taught in a wide variety of classrooms from preschool to fourth grade and as an adjunct instructor of education courses. She currently teaches in Worcester, Vermont. You can follow her on Twitter @christine_hertz or visit her web site at christinehertz.com

Kristine Mraz is coauthor—with Christine Hertz—of the new Kids First from Day One, which provides a practical blueprint for increasing the child-centeredness of your teaching practice. She and Christine previously teamed up for the bestselling A Mindset for Learning (coauthored with Christine Hertz), which provides practical and powerful strategies for cultivating optimism, flexibility, and empathy alongside traditional academic skills. Kristi teaches Kindergarten in the New York City Public schools. In addition to writing and teaching, she consults in schools across the country and as far away as Taiwan. She primarily supports teachers in early literacy, play, and inquiry based learning. You can follow all of her adventures on twitter @MrazKristine or on her blog kinderconfidential.wordpress.com


Topics: Christine Hertz, Back to School, Kristine Mraz, Kids First From Day One

Date Published: 09/13/18

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