Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Can't you just follow your passions on the weekend?

Velvety Passion FlowerVelvety Passion Flower. Image via Wikipedia"Can't you just follow your passions on the weekend?"

I overheard this comment from two women talking about a slacker husband. Really? Does she really want her husband to have passion only two days each week? Doesn't she see that life would be so much better if her husband lived passionately every day? Of course, I am sure there is more to the story (I only heard a little of the conversation, fortunately), but educators have always known that when students are passionate about their activities, there can be no stopping them.

This talk of passion reminds me of an awesome event that illustrates what passion can do for teaching. I was attending a curriculum breakfast to hear the chief data guy from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education speak about the new growth model for looking at student achievement (politics aside for a minute as this post is about Passion, not Ed Reform). With this topic, there was little chance that I would be anything but bored.

Then, the guy started going through the powerpoint slides. He get very excited as he presented. He fidgeted like a little kid who wants us to "watch me, daddy." He even giggled at least once. As I watched and listened, I realized that I was getting sucked in to this man's passion for data. What he lacked in presentation skills, he more than compensated for by letting his passion fly. By the end of his talk, I actually felt excited for the statistical work that the data guy had done to make the growth model something useful. I understood the growth model (at least I was well on my way to understanding it).

Thank goodness the DESE data guy didn't follow his passion on the weekend only.

Now, go make sure you are following your passions every day.
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