When I think about one of the most important ingredients a professional must bring to the table, I inevitably come back to passion.
To giving a damn.
For me it is the epoxy that holds work which is of true, genuine value together.
I think about this often when I make my way through this world. When I shop in markets. When I go to the post office. When I call a mega-conglom about my various household services.
Sad to say it, but mediocrity reigns in this day and age and the truth is, I think we have all become so beaten down by crud-o-la performance that we are willing to settle for mediocrity because it at least lets us get in and out of the encounters without too much duress. After all, who hasn’t experienced the 45 minute phone call to nowhere-ville with any one of a dozen banks, cable companies, phone service carriers and so on?
It sucks the downright life out of you!
Heck, when I fly on airplanes the lack of passion for the work being done by almost all airline employees in terms of making my travel experience feel pleasant is glaring. Sheesh, it’s almost laughable to even expect anything more than mediocrity from the airlines nowadays. (Yet, having said that VIRGIN AMERICA and, to an extent SOUTHWEST, do show a verve you just don’t see in most other domestic carriers.)
But what makes the difference in a school? In many ways, it’s just this. Passion. Caring. Dedication. Commitment. Dynamic vitality! When I see a staff of teachers who are fired up about the kids, about the work, about meeting the challenges of the job, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride that, “This is what education is all about.”
And when I see a student that show a steely resolve to meet a challenge, give a better effort, step up their performance, and actually try to “learn” something I become energized and excited and even that much more willing to give even more of myself.
Vigor is contagious. Those who tap that well in their classrooms this year will almost certainly reach and teach more young people than those who do not.
Spend yourself this year. Spend yourself heartily!