Thursday, October 08, 2015

Teaching Tip #23

Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #23
Passion, baby, passion!
There’s a lot of talk about passion.  You must have passion for what you do, for what you teach, for your students, for your school . . .
Passion is great.  But too often people think passion alone is everything you need.
And that isn’t true at all.
Passion is nothing if it doesn’t lead you to excellence (or at least, in my case, the pursuit for excellence).
Richard David Kaplan says that passion is your rocket fuel.  It’s what you need to help you through the dip.  Remember what Malcalm Gladwell says in Outliers: it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill.
What will sustain you through those 10,000 hours?  Passion, baby, passion!
But too often passion is misconstrued as excitement.
That’s not it at all.
Passion is the inner drive to make you not only love what you do but to actually want to not just get better at what you do but to be the best at what you do.
That passion drives me to read all of the books I do on comp theory and leadership.  It’s what drives me to take small bets (like submitting proposals to present to our school board, at Kramer-Brown, at our tech inserivces, and eventually at TIES and MCTE).  It’s what inspires me to take larger bets (like presenting at NCTE).
It’s great to love what you do, but as Cal Newport discovers in So Good They Can’t Ignore You, passion is great but it’s not the end results.  Passion is really a byproduct.  A by product of what?  Of being really, really good at something.
If you aren’t going to strive to be the best, what’s the point?

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