Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The importance of Industriousness ( Hard Work)

This is the first block that John Wooden has in his pyramid of success. He divided this block into two parts. He says the two components are work and planning.
When it comes to work there are no short cuts Wooden writes " We might get by for a while but in the long run we wont fully develop our talents."
I believe the same is true for us as educators when it comes to our own professional growth or that of our students.
If we ant our students to be learners than we as educators must be committed to being life long learners and always looking for ways to improve our teaching. That takes a lot of work and for some of us it isn't easy admitting that after teaching for "x" number years there is more that I need to learn. However it is critical for us as educators to be on top of our game. There is a quote that we are educating our students for jobs that don't yet exist. Imagine if you went to a Dr that was still using techniques used 20 years a go and he refused to update and learn new ideas you probably wouldn't use that doctor. In order to develop our talents we need to be constantly learning and be willing to accept new ideas and advice from others. it says in the Ethics of our Fathers that who is truly wise is one who is willing to learn for everyone.
This idea of work can also be applied to what we except from our students. If we want our students to reach their talents they need to work hard. Often we as educators are afraid to push students either because we are afraid if the students don't do well at first it will reflect poorly on us and therefore we tend to make things easy for them. One of the things that bothers me the most is when teachers give tests that just test memory and how well students could spit back the information. You could probably train a parrot to do the same. We need to teach our students how to think and think critically and that isn't easy and takes hard work. The irony of it all is that in the end the students themselves often like to be pushed and feel better when they truly accomplish something.
In the book "Switch" the authors discuss how we need to build failure into the process of reaching our goals and achieving change. Failure is by no means the end result but it is something that is inevitable in the process. The same is true with our students in order for them to achieve success and reach their talents and grow they may fail along the way and we need to be there to pick them back up and make sure they achieve their goals. That takes hard work.
I believe the aspect of planning is one that is key to teaching and I don't think it needs to elaborated on here except for one point. That point is don't plan to the point that you put yourself in a box
What do I mean.
We all have this experience when I students either asks a question or makes a comment and based on that you now have one of those teachable moments.
What do you do?
option 1 Well it is not in my plan and I need to finish my lesson so I avoid that teachable moment
Option 2 You take advantage of the opportunity and you maximize the use of that Teachable moment
I vote for option Two

As always I appreciate your feedback

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