This week on #Edchat the topic centered around how do we as educators help students find their passion. There was lots of great discussion and lots of great ideas. Here is just a taste of what was said.
- Discovering one's passion is provoked by allowing students to make mistakes and find what they like through experimental learning.
- Educators must take genuine interest in student, & get to know him before being able to encourage toward passions.
- Don't be afraid to invest a little extra time with them or for them after hours. Sorry, but teaching isn't 9am-5pm!
- Passion entails risk, so we must create an environment where risk-taking and mistakes are ok.
- PBL is an avenue we use. Many call it problem/project based learning but it could easily be passion based learning.
- Sometimes I think we squash passion in the name of "order". Let's not be afraid of "messy" education.
- Educators must model a passion for personal learning by regular talking about what they themselves are learning!
I encourage you to visit the archive and read through the entire chat. You can do that here.
Here are some of my thoughts...
Is it the job of the educator to find the passion for the student? Absolutely not. Is it also the job of the teacher to crush the passions of our kids. Absolutely not. But yet that happens everyday. So if we can't find the passion for our students, why do some actively kill it for our students everyday.
Alright, so maybe that is a little harsh but we all know there are particular educators who have, at one time or another, stifled a students passion for one thing or another.
The thing with passion is that sometimes kids don't really know what their passion is. That is when it takes an educator with an eye for identifying it. The key is to provide opportunities in the classroom that allow student to explore and expand their understanding.
Rigidity and blandness are instant passion killers. Students who go into classrooms where it is the same thing day after day will have a hard time discovering their passion or cultivating it. Working in the workbook or copying definitions every day drives the passion out. But a classroom that offers varied assignments, use of different types of tools, takes learning around the globe helps the passion.
We, as educators. in order to help students find their passion have to have passion ourselves. We have to have passion for our job and the work we are doing. But above all else we have to have passion for those kids and we have make it know each and every day that we have passion for our teaching and passion for those kids in our rooms.
While we can not give kids passion we can kill it. We have to make sure we create environments that are comfortable for learning new things and safe enough for kids to make mistakes. And maybe then our kids will begin to discover what they really care about.