I love this clip ESPN plays before their college games. The tremendous energy and great plays, especially the devastating tackles, fire me up to do the same in the game of life.
But instead of proving to another man I am tougher, smarter, stronger, etc. than him......what if I helped my fellow man tackle his limitations? What if enough of us had this attitude towards terrorism and poverty and world hunger? What if we could inspire enough people to stop creating these nasty things in their own lives?
We go back to school today, and I am looking forward to an incredibly fun day of slobber-knocking my students' current limitations and so-called disabilities to the ground. I will make sure every student achieves victory and scores at least one touchdown every day this week.
One student who can't help himself from messing with others' experiments had to be banned from all three lab areas before we left on break. His victory today will be sparked by emphasizing that he already is extremely curious, JUST LIKE A REAL SCIENTIST.
So he and I today will set up his own lab where he can plant seeds and pull up the sprouts to find out how the root system works to his heart's content.
And I bet ya that this will internally motivate him to read more to find out more answers to the positive questions that are forming inside his head more and more.
Instead of being forced to sit at his desk and ask "Why am I here? Why do I have to do this? Why am I so dumb?", he will be given a small area to move around in and allowed to ask, "How does a seed turn into a plant?", "What will happen if I pull up the sprout?", and other naturally-forming questions that EMPOWER HIM to form a hypothesis as to what the answer might be, and will WANT TO READ as he researches and experiments and WRITES down his observations. Heck, he'll even do some math as he learns how to create a chart to graph his plant's growth.
And once he does this, he'll be inspired to ask another scientific question....and have new confidence to believe HE CAN find the answer. His victory has been achieved, leading to another and another and another. All of a sudden, HE WANTS to come to school. He is EXCITED at doing more and becoming more.
HE BELIEVES IN HIMSELF.
Instead of school being one boring subject disconnected from another, he begins to see the interconnectedness of science and math and reading and writing.......and it is this experience that will enable him to see later on in life the interconnectedness between his thoughts and actions and the results he gets in life, between himself and his fellow man, between the economy and culture, and between man and nature. And his life will take on more meaning than wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, rinse and repeat until you die.
It is exactly this system that allowed four Level 1 students last year to change their lives and no longer score at the bottom-of-the-barrel on the state tests.
Research shows that this type of real inquiry teaching makes an even bigger difference among the higher students. It is a place where "A" students learn to do something with all these facts they've stored as nothing more than surface knowledge (proving that knowledge isn't power, but the ability to use that knowledge is).
I see education as what it will be, a place where year-after-year the schools of the world unleash wave-after-wave of truly happy and courageous thinkers and problem-solvers. You take this vision and combine it with the passion and intensity you see on the football field.....and baby, it just might come true!
Because it needs to.......
“Tomorrow’s employees will be doing what robots can’t do, which means that their work will call for the exercise of sophisticated intelligence. What we now appear to need is not individuals trained for the hierarchical and mechanical workplace but individuals who can govern themselves. Tomorrow’s successful employees will have to be problem solvers, decision makers, adept negotiators, and thinkers who are at home with open-endedness, flexibility, and resourcefulness. They must be able to deal with uncertainty, complexity, the global village, the information explosion, other technologies, and many different cultures – and still maintain a set of values that foster an adequate degree of individual stability, integrity, and social harmony. It will not be enough for people to have acquired a store of nontransferable facts. They must have understood and internalized content, such as math, economics, and history, sufficiently to make it available spontaneously, appropriately, and in many different contexts.” (Making Connections, p.14)We all need great energy if we're going to move mountains today. The mountain that needs moving is KNOWING YOU CAN WIN!
That is number one on my lesson plan today......and by God, by Buddha, and by Mohammed, my students WILL KNOW they can win, and they will achieve REAL VICTORY today!
Let's get jacked up and play it again!