Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Last Night.....A Call for Passion!

Tonight was the final night of teaching the "Computers and Instructional Technology" class. If you haven't been following this, it is a course for undergraduates who will be teachers.

I struggled with what to say on the last night and I think I ended up getting a little preachy... That happens when I get fired up, the passion comes pouring out. Yesterday, I watched the video of the Texas student who gave the keynote for the opening convocation of Dallas schools. I read about it on Karen Janowski's Blog. I was so moved by this fifth grade student who spoke in front of 18,000 students with a passion that is unmatched with kids his age. I understand that he was coached as a speaker and the actual speech may have been written by the school district and, to be perfectly honest, absolutely none of that matters to me.

If I had to identify one problem with the generation of kids who are in school now, it is that they lack passion. Yes, that is a generalization.....but it is based on my observation. So, how can we inspire passion in students??? The easy and honest answer is that we can't....or can we?

What I think we can do is share things WE are passionate about. If you have ever seen Peter H. Reynolds speak about his passion for creativity and kids, you can't help but get swept away. I leave each talk with Peter wanting to go out and light fires of creativity. WE can also be the voice that motivates others.

I personally LOVE what I have witnessed watching kids use technology. Watching a kid 'get it' for the first time is an amazing thing....I get very passionate in sharing those stories. I share the stories with my college students....I share them using this blog. We must be determined to not let the people who are not so passionate about kids and teaching to weight us down! We must find people who are equally inspired and feed on each other. One of the greatest parts of Twitter / Plurk is finding a group of people who are equally passionate.

How do you share your passions?


Kobus van Wyk said...

One sometimes battles to get the technology working; often waging even a greater war with teachers who are unwilling to make technology facilities available to the learners - but when one sees the little ones (particularly the litlest ones) with tiny hands barely able to manipulate the mouse, but moving around the screen and learning all the time - there comes a lump in the throat and a realisation that all the efforts were worthwhile.

Karen Janowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Janowski said...

(sorry I had trouble posting, here's the comment:)
I think it is vital to discover your passions and capitalize upon them. It is wonderful that you stressed the importance of this on your final night. It is apparent to students when their teachers are not passionate about what they are doing.
As you know, I am like you, passionate about what I do. It bothers me greatly when I see people who are just going through the motions. Life is too short to do that.
When I first start working with kids, I always ask them what are their interests and hobbies, what do they do during their free time. I think it's vital to help kids explore and develop their own interests especially since they are often struggling learners and face frequent challenges in school. Everyone is good at something so it is up to us to nurture that in our students.
Thank you for rallying around the importance of passion in education!