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Sara Saldez

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How important a role do you believe Passion plays as an educator?

As a teacher/educator I am often confronted by up and coming University students who are completing their Education degrees and are working to becoming teachers. But when asked a seemingly simple question of "why", they are left stumped.
How big a role do you believe passion plays when training, and first starting out, and then of course in sustaining Education as your life long career?

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  • Mar 14 2012: All great people, great achievers we have on earth have one thing in common - passion, irrespective of their area of interest. A passion for your interest is all that takes you to be the best. Maybe not the best to the world, but the best in terms of your own standards, if you evaluate honestly and be true to your self.
    According to me, educators can be said to be passionate if they remember two things and practically apply them-
    Their job is to pass all their knowledge to their students in whatever manner they can.
    They must remember before writing the word "Fail" on their student's report card - it is not the student who has failed. It is they who have failed in their job.
    Next time they would do everything to prevent that failure.
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      Mar 14 2012: WOW Samridhi!!!!
      You caused a light bulb going off in my head! I truly believe that we are all like mirrors reflecting information back and forth to each other. It never occured to me that a teacher writing "Fail" on a students paper, is actually reflecting his/her own "failure" to convey the information in a way the student might understand!!!

      You say..."Their job is to pass all their knowledge to their students in whatever manner they can".
      If an adult educator is not creative enough to convey information to his/her student, it is not the student who has failed, so the educator may be writing that word for him/herself. If the educator wants to write the word "Fail" on a students work, it is an opportunity to evaluate how they may prevent a "failure" in the future.

      If the educator is really passionately concerned about teaching/learning, s/he will explore the situation in him/herself.
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      Mar 14 2012: Sorry Samridhi I disagree. But understand I am talking older students. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink.

      I have told students that I prepare a banquet. I present content in several different ways to address several different learning styles but I cannot make them eat. That is their responsibility. Either they do it or they do not.

      It is not my failure if they do not learn. My role is to clarify and amplify but its like throwing wet toilet paper to the ceiling. Sometimes it sticks and sometimes you have to throw the toilet paper several times.

      I work very very hard with teachers who internalize student failures. I work against this attitude daily. I know it is wrong.

      This is the one major attitude behind grade inflation. We are graduating students who do not achieve outcomes because teachers and administrators think student failure is the teachers fault. It has to stop. If students do not achieve the outcomes they need to repeat until they do. And we need to stick to appropriate assessments that demonstrate achievement of outcomes (Note I did not say test).

      The current attitude in our government is very scary. It will make this worse. Teachers may loose their jobs if students do not learn and it is so much more complex than the teacher.

      That whole pass all their knowledge is a load of baloney too. That is simply not possible and can cause undo stress on educators. Teachers need to make it possible for students to learn. They are experts in the content and know how to best present it so students can learn. They are not some type of computer that can download information. It does not work that way.
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        Mar 14 2012: Hi Linda,
        There doesn't have to be anyone at "fault", but rather an opportunity? I agree..."you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink". However, if there is something the horse is afraid of, or balking at, on one side of the pond, maybe we can take them to the other side? Sounds like you do that by presenting content in several different ways to address several different learning styles, which can be very helpful to a lot of students. I'm not sure how many teachers do that...it certainly didn't happen in my experience! I agree with you that teaching/learning can be very complex.
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          Mar 14 2012: Nope. Sometimes the horse has to figure it out. It's called critical thinking and I will not take that opportunity away from my students by leading them by the nose.

          However I have been known to stand behind them while they find their way shovel in hand.

          (Also edited out the fault to coincide with the 'failure' in the original post.)

          I present content online as well as f2f. I utilize concept mapping for relationships and global learners. I use illustrations for complex systems. I leverage outside experts as well as onsite application experiences for kinestheic learners. I encourage concept application with case studies and scenarios. I facilitate linear learners by compare and contrast exercises. etc etc. Been doing this a while....

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