Sunday, July 31, 2016

Potential



~Potential is lost in the absence of effort and passion.
I'm not sure where I came across this powerful piece of insight, but it hits home in so many ways.

Imagine the world without Michelangelo, Dante, Pasteur...
What if they'd chosen to squander their talents because they couldn't be bothered to research, invent and create.

How many of us attack each day with a desire to do our best and be our best? 
I know, it's exhausting to exist in this state but so well worth it. It is here that greatness is born-most often not the greatness of the masters but the greatness found in the ordinary moments of living in a school that is filled with passion by all those who inhabit it.

Children are born with this type of passion; the need to know all, be all and do all.
It is when they encounter apathetic teachers and adults that they lose their potential.
I speak of
the teachers who arrive each day content with mediocrity.
The teachers who forget to read, research, and investigate in order to expand their minds and give the children the best of themselves.
The teachers who watch the clock, forget to say good morning to lift a child's spirits.
The type of teachers who are not present and in the moment.
The type of teachers who are not invested in the art of negotiated learning.
The type of teachers who do not stay after their students are gone to attend to the environment, reflect on the children's work and prepare for the next day.
These are the teachers who lack passion and so their potential is lost and so too is the potential of their students.

Let us consider an alternative.
 I offer the the teacher who arrives well before her shift begins to prepare for her day with the children which will surely bring a multitude of new adventures and possibilities. Along the way to her classroom she stops to greet a few of her coworkers. Her passion has inspired them to arrive early as well. They notice the bag she is clutching. The school is quiet. It's only 6:30 a.m.
She has a mischievous smile on her face because the bag she carries holds a new supply of loose parts that she discovered at the nursery the night before. She already imagines what the children might do with them. This is not an uncommon practice for her. She is always in search of new materials for her classroom.
She opens the door and pauses for a moment happy to take in the wonder of learning.
She sets down her treasures and flicks on the computer eager to review the photos and documentation of yesterday's experiences.
She prints them to share with the children during morning discussion.
Students begin arriving with their parents in tow. They are full of questions about yesterday's discoveries and she is more than happy to share in their joy.
In the blink of an eye
the day ends with not enough time to catch each smile, each heartbeat, each new discovery. 
But she is content. She gave it her best and expected no less from the children. They in turn gave her their best knowing that she was her best and together they lived the day to their full potential.

What type of teacher are you-share your wonder!







13 comments:

  1. Every day is full of potential! My Co-teacher and I strive to prepare the environment for learning possibilities. As we think of the children: what they did the previous day and what could happen today, we think of how we can arrange the indoor or outdoor space for new experiences full of potential. More often then not the children surprise us as they they think of innovative ways to engage with the environment. Weather it's the new loose parts available, a new way to reconfigure the ramping systems available, or the masterpiece created when mastery of painting strokes is acquired. Every day is full of joy as we take great pride along with the children in their new accomplishments.

    Albert Einstein said “I do not teach anyone I only provide the environment in which they can learn” in following this great man's example we strive to prepare the environment for new or ongoing learning possibilities.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading this post as it inspires me to be a better teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for the inspirational words of encouragement to push us forward to reach our potential.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for posting awesome information, it is really valuable and encouraging for me to be a better teacher!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I am a creative thinker type of teacher. I always looking for imaginative ways to approach the curriculum to keep the children engaged in class. I always see the bigger picture when it comes to helping the children. I am able to think on my feet – so even in that lesson where is only 15 minutes short, I am sure to come up with something!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing! I enjoy reading your posts, it inspires me to be better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing this inspirational words. I think passion is very important for any work, not just as a teacher. With passion, You will be very happy when you do your best to improve your work. In the end, you will love your job as a good teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The post helps me think in different angles to reach our potential in order to provide better care for children. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. To be or not to be a 'potential" teacher depends on how much you love your job

    ReplyDelete
  10. As the children spend most of their time here I try my best to provide the environment with lots of love, caring, and stimulating as can be. I like to know that the children are happy and always looking forward in attending school daily. The more joy that parents see their children have as they leave to start their day the more trust and comfort they will have knowing that their children will be ok. I also take pleasure in reflecting children's work in the classroom and bringing their attention to them. It is priceless to see the joy on their faces as the see themselves engaged in an learning experience, not to mention parents reaction as a child point out their own work to moms and dads.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank for sharing such valuable information. It is posts like these that inspires us teachers to reach our full potential!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for sharing, as Nikos Kazantzakis once said, “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their
    own.” With the materials provided in the rich environment at Reggio Kids it is the effort and passion of the teachers that inspire children to build their own bridges.

    ReplyDelete