Our Pledge

Please share this pledge with others. If it speaks to you and your role as an educator, please also sign the pledge by commenting below and sharing a bit of what you do to actualize this pledge in your life and work.

“As a caring adult, I am committed to facilitating a positive and rich learning environment, where the negative and unnecessary wounds traditionally inflicted by schools, will not have a place. I will build a culture that honors, listens to, nurtures, and empowers all learners. I will not tolerate events, actions or words that cause any student to think or feel that they are stupid or worthless. I will create a haven where students feel free to explore new areas and thoughts, take risks, and stay connected to the inherent joy of learning. I will not employ methods which replace this intrinsic motivation with external gauges such as praise, gold stars, or grades. And while I sign this pledge with all good intentions, I will utilize the tools, awareness, and network of peers that I have to ensure that I stay true.”

Our very best regards,
The Cooperative Catalyst Team



10 thoughts on “Our Pledge

  1. Moving from this day forward, I pledge myself to upholding the duties, values, and responsibilities of the above statement. In no way, will I, as a future educator, educational theorists, and educational revolutionist allow myself to be constrained or structured in any traditional, student-harming, conventional way that compromises the way I teach, study, and learn or that debilitates my students to do the same.

    Let it be known, no matter the hour, day, month, or year, that I will give my energy, time, and effort into reversing damaging trends in traditional education. Whether this is accomplished through innovative lesson plans, creative teaching methods, the stroke of a pin, or the speech of a lecture, siminar, or discussion, I will not rest. This commitment may take place in the United States, a ‘first’ world nation, or along the pherifery, but whever it goes, I will be sure to follow.

    Let it be known, that it is only through true, democratic, studnet-centered education, that learning becomes truly free and fair. So, let us begin the work anew, fight for the principles and values which transform the world, and let us always remember to be true unto ourselves in the face of adversity.

    In Educational Solidarity,
    Casey K. Caronna

    Posted by Casey K. Caronna | April 12, 2010, 1:32 pm
  2. I pledge this and so much more! I am working on a longer more detailed creed and pledge of my own. I am working on creating a future narrative that will help guide and remind me of all the values and ideals I have as a educator.

    Ideals are not weapons, but we most stand up for them. We should not put down other efforts to change the world, if they don’t match ours, but instead seek to share a space for thinking and caring and ultimately a education that helps to move the human race closer and closer to truth and well being.

    I pledge as a educator, a learner, an advocate of children, as a dreamer and lover of life.
    I pledge that I will look to the past for ideas, but will seek to create new answers for old problems. I pledge that learning does not happen just in schools or is merely a preparation for life but is the act and art of living.

    I pledge to thank all the teachers in my life from the mentors of my youth to the new buds that grow on the trees every spring. I will seek stories and wisdom from creative imaginative people young and old.

    I pledge to do and be.

    David Loitz

    Posted by David Loitz | April 20, 2010, 3:34 am
    • Learning “is the act and art of living:” what a great summation of the attitude schools should foster in al their community members. Thank you, David, for your pledge and work in helping students find their truths and well-being!


      Posted by Chad Sansing | April 20, 2010, 5:40 am
    • David,

      I like your additional points incorporating problem-solving and what learning is. Perhaps we can incorporate some that language into the pledge here?

      With hope,

      Posted by Adam Burk | April 20, 2010, 6:00 am
  3. There are three things I promise, there are three questions posted in the room and there are some additional remarks I make.

    I promise
    – that my students will be physically safe. I am a Quaker, but I prepared to use any violence necessary to protect my students
    – that my students will be emotionally safe: there will be no bullying or taunting
    – that my students will be intellectually safe: we will challenge ideas, but not to belittle either the students or the ideas, but to clarify our thinking and understanding.

    As a Quaker, I prefer to use Queries – questions – rather than rules. The following three are posted in my room, and I inform student that they apply to me and to anyone else in the room.
    1. Do I show respect – for myself and others, in my words and actions?
    2. Am I prepared, with my work and my materials?
    3. Am I paying attention, to the teacher and my fellow students?

    I add additional remarks, which their parents also here. I am going to challenge the thinking of my students, whether it might be. I want them at the end of the year better able to express their ideas in writing and in speaking. to be able to understand and if appropriate take apart the ideas of others, spoken or written. I want them to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. In the process I may create my own worst nightmare – an articulate, persuasive advocate of a position I abhor. In which case, as a teacher, I have done my job.

    I also inform them I expect them to make mistakes. It is human to make mistakes. We will not learn as much as we can if we do not take intellectual risks, and in the process we will sometimes be wrong. Our responsibility to ourselves and others is to admit our mistakes, accept responsibility, and attempt to learn from them. I model this for them – each class hears at the beginning of the year that I have never taught a class which has not heard me apologize multiple times, for things I failed to do, for mistakes I have made, for unkindnesses even if unintentional because they were unthinking.

    Hope this serves some purpose here?


    Posted by teacherken | August 20, 2010, 10:48 am
  4. I do so pledge and have so pledged for some time now. It is interesting how ideas take root. You never quite now how they will grow once they are planted. The seed might have looked like an acorn, but until the tree is manifest in all its glory, you can not predict it. I have been dedicated to the above in my work with children and education for over 15 years. But recently as I have stepped into a leadership role in my organization, I have begun to see this commitment, this pledge a little differently.

    It is, at its core about consciousness. If we are all in true relationship with consciousness, we can’t help but live this pledge in every moment, breathing into the connection that just is. We can not help but be moved to create the change we wish to see in the world and do what is needed for children, for ourselves, for our planet. We may all do this slightly differently (what a boring world this would be if all the trees looked exactly the same), but we will all be working to manifest love in our lives. So I pledge to be in relationship to consciousness, for that is where my endless energy for life and engaged learning comes from.


    Posted by ambersk | August 25, 2011, 5:28 pm
  5. Wonderful blog here. I would love the opportunity to contribute to the very necessary conversation it is facilitating, and agree with the pledge. My own blog at ‘www.educoup.wordpress.com’ is dealing with similar topics; concerning itself with a ‘grassroots coup against force fed learning. I look forward to exchanging ideas with everyone here at Cooperative Catalyst.

    Posted by bernardtullassa | November 19, 2012, 2:43 pm
  6. As an educator of educators – I also pledge to promote this within my own networks!


    Posted by Soozie Bea (@soozietwits) | June 17, 2013, 11:46 pm


  1. Pingback: What would Fair Trade Education look like? « Cooperative Catalyst - January 17, 2011

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