This month, I am participating in the daily Slice of Life, hosted by two of my favorite bloggers, Ruth Ayres and Stacey Schubitz of Twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Mostly, I have been trying to stick with creative writing this month, but this morning, I also want to write about our family's dinner conversation last week.
We don't have many nights when we are all together because of activities. With four daughters, someone is usually busy. However, Wednesdays and Sundays have become family dinner nights and we usually linger at the table discussing and debating. The girls know and expect (and I think have come to like) that we have conversations on those nights.
Last Wednesday night, we read and discussed a recent post by Angela Maiers about passion and its importance. She wrote that "there is a passion gap in education, and students are falling through it and drowning in ennui."
The insights that my daughters had during our dinner conversation were amazing. Here are some of the comments and reflections that have stayed with me:
- My passion is about getting good grades and being successful.
- Kids have much more passion when it comes to doing things like art, music and sports than they do about regular academics.
- Teachers who seem passionate about their subjects are much less boring than some of the others.
- What's passion?
Angela also wrote the following paragraph that reminds me so much of Katherine Sokolowski's recent post about relationships. I couldn't pick the most important part so I am including the entire paragraph:
To lay the groundwork for students to develop passion, teachers must do two things – greet students — by name — when they walk in and hug them (either physically or metaphorically) when they leave. Whatever happens in between, students will remember that you notice them and they mean something to you. Teachers must let students know that they expect that students will accomplish great things. All of this may sound trite, but it is derived from the responses we received when we asked 500,000 students last year, “What would make you run to school?” These responses are not confined to the young; they mirror the results when a similar question was asked of 7,000 adults.
- Angela Maiers
I have other resources, websites, links, and videos that relate to passion. The chapter about authentic learning in Jim Knight's book, High Impact Instruction, is a great resource and Tony Wagner talks about it in a TEDTalk about Play, Passion and Purpose (coinciding with his book, Creating Innovators).
My guess is that if you are reading this post, you have passion about your work, but how does it show in your classrooms or in the classrooms of other people you admire and how can we build passion?