Teaching for imPACT: Passion

This blog starts a four-part series on teaching for imPACT. Everyone acknowledges the far-reaching effects that educators have on the students; and that influence is amplified by passion, accountability, courage, and trust.

We want to slow down, explain, and really think through each as the start to the school year is near. At the end of the series, we will have a one-page document that gives you active ways that each aspect can be demonstrated.

Passion is our starting point for a very simple reason: An ACT (accountability, courage, and trust) becomes magical when it is matched with passion. So, what exactly is passion for education? As a foundational element, passion is a love of learning and care for students whereby a teacher lives out the belief that all children can learn. Let’s quickly look at these three parts:

1. Love of learning: this goes much deeper than enjoyment of your content. You must model and teach the need for life-long learning. That means you take risks and, sometimes, fail. When you do, demonstrate a growth mindset to your students. Those factors will encourage them weeks and months (and even years) later, but it does not feel that way in the moment.

2. Care for students: relationships are critical for classroom culture and much has been written on this topic elsewhere; so, we will not go deeper here. For our purposes, Teddy Roosevelt’s quote is sufficient: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

3. Living out the belief: the following statement may sound harsh, but it needs to be said – if you do not believe that all students can learn, then leave the classroom. Why would we say that? If you, as a teacher or school leader, do not believe that your efforts can lead to student outcomes, then you will not put in the work to make it happen.

If you want to learn more about Passion, then we encourage you to check out this course: Classroom Culture 2: Passion. It offers you some specific practices that you can implement to spark and fuel the flame of learning.

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