Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Struggling with a quote from Twitter

Last week, I ran across this quote on Twitter--“Every day that you teach you have two options: be focused, passionate & caring, or to be focused, passionate & caring.”-Robert John Meehan

It bothered me, so I waited, then read it again.  I realized my discomfort was two-fold.  First, teachers do have two options--to be focused, passionate and caring, or NOT to be.  And, although rare, I do meet some who choose the latter.  The bottom line is, assuming everyone views being focused, passionate and caring as the only option isn't true.  We need to recognize that, and help those who are struggling.

Second, I hear teachers over and over tell me they don't feel like they have any choices--they are told what to do , when to do it, and how to do it.  I am always saying--you do have choices, even ones as simple as whether you smile or not, or whether your attitude is positive or negative.  I've been very careful in my workshops to offer true choices to teachers, so they make that decision rather than me making it for them.  Isn't that at the heart of motivation--to help someone be intrinsically motivated to change or improve?

I do like the spirit of the quote, and I've never met the author (although I do know he is a poet and is focused on teachers and teaching).  I'm just learning to pay attention to our words--and make sure there are no unintended consequences. 

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