Today, I spoke to Angela Maiers, who has been in the education field for 20 years as a classroom teacher and is the author of Classroom Habitudes. In this interview, Angela goes over what “habitudes” are, the knowledge students should have before they graduate, social media’s role in the classroom and how she’s built her own personal brand.

Angela, what are “Classroom Habitudes”? Why are they important?

Habitudes are a combination of learning habits and attitudes.”

Not just something to do in school (or at work), but a 24/7 habit with an attitude of positive profit for your brain and heart. A truly curious, adaptable, persevering spirit, one with imagination, courage, and self-awareness is a person that lives a life of Habitudes.

We’re all born with these traits, but many times our schedules and busy work get put on a higher pedastal – which is poor placement. The Habitudes can and should be muscles built up in our classrooms – not hidden on the bottom shelf.

What knowledge should students get before they graduate high school and college?

I’m a big believer in instruction for independence. So the learning of how to learn is key to any formal education. The 21st century learner not only needs the habitudes to succeed after graduation, but we may find these traits necessary to survive. 21st Century Literacies will demand today’s students not only be able to read and write, but to be able to read, write, speak, present, decode, create, and share as well.

What role does social media plan in the classroom now? Has it changed education?

Social media tools can really break down the physical barriers such as geography, language, and even time. Standing alone, I don’t think the tools change education. However, these tools have the potential, when used on task and with purpose, to change the conditions of learning.

How did you get into your current role and how have you build your own personal brand?

After teaching at multiple grade levels and content areas for over 10 years, I’ve invested the last decade on a mission to change the conditions of learning in hopes to put the learner and learning first.

Though I’ve been blogging and on Twitter less than two years, it really has been an extension of how I’ve been building my personal brand for 20 years — By having an enthusiastic belief system, relentless pursuit to positively change the
conditions of learning, and being contagious in that pursuit – everyone will talk about the mission and the message.

What have you learned from blogging that has helped you become a better teacher?

Blogging has helped me refine and polish the way I communicate, both in written and spoken word. It has allowed me to archive my thoughts for myself, but also easily share with others.

Knowing that the audience has gone global, I have become a better learner (which makes me a better teacher, which makes me a better learner, etc.). The conversation space online has given me a world-wide personal learning network.

Angela Maiers
has been in the education field for 20 years as a classroom teacher. She’s the author of Classroom Habitudes and is currently working as an independent consultant dedicated and committed to helping DOE’s, schools, districts and teachers reach their goals in literacy and literacy education.  Her work is featured in the National Research Council Yearbook, multiple professional journals, and most recently in Urban Schools Most Promising Practices, published by the International Reading Association.  For the past six years, she’s created, developed, and organized multiple literacy institutes reaching thousands of educators across the United States. These summer institutes provide an innovative and unique venue for educators, administrators, and curriculum developers.