Byron's Babbles

Passion is Tough Work!

Posted in Education, Education Reform by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on November 19, 2011

Me passionately teaching Adhesion & Cohesion

The word “Passion” comes from the Latin word “pati,” which means to endure, submit, or suffer. This past week I was really able to make the connection between what we usually think of passion being and the Latin word pati. We did a professional development that involved our entire student body providing a list of reasons why students were unengaged. One of the top reasons was some of our teachers having a lack of passion. Interesting that our students realize it, but some those very same teachers don’t see it in themselves. Gives validity to doing 360 degree evaluations.

It really saddened me to hear that said about teachers in our building because I consider myself very passionate. Then when I started thinking about it in light of how I view passion – powerful or compelling emotion and having a strong desire to accomplish something – I thought, wow, passion is really hard work. If we have passion it is really intense. It drives us and sometimes its painful. Sometimes it even eludes us.

Our professional development exercise reminds me, however, that it is important to our students to come to our learning environment prepared and with passion every day. This past week I finished reading the incredible book, Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools by Steven Brill. In this book, Brill really drove home the fact that, “Truly effective teaching, could overcome student indifference, parental disengagement, and poverty – and, in fact, was the key to enabling children to rise above those circumstances” (2011, p.1). When I see that in print it really drives home the importance of what I do every day.

Brill (2011) went on to say, “successful teaching is grueling work. It required more talent, more preparation, more daily reevaluation and retooling, more hours in the class day, and just plain more perseverance than many teachers, and most teachers’ union contracts, were willing or able to provide” (p. 2). After seeing the thoughts of our students I would say Brill is spot-on right.

All of this reminded me that my continued passion is important, and all teachers need to self-evaluate and see if they have the passion it takes to do the work of educating our students. Guess what? If not, it’s probably time to find something else to do. It’s not an easy profession, but an important profession that deserves to be done by only the best and most passionate professionals.

Brill, S. (2011). Class warfare: Inside the fight to fix America’s schools. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

One Response

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  1. Unreleased Movies said, on December 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    This is a great blog you have here


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