My four-year-old daughter rushed into my bedroom this past Saturday as I was catching up on some work and finishing my first cup of coffee for the morning. As she burst on the scene she frenetically announced,”WATCH THIS DAD! I learned this in gymnastics!! Isn’t this so cool?!”
She proceeded to pull off the best imitation of Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and commentator Bob Costas all rolled into one. With each reverse leg flare she carefully articulated how cool her moves were. There was so much passion and genuine satisfaction with her floor routine that she did not even bother to see if I was watching. (The grainy photograph I was able to capture doesn’t fully convey the excitement and energy of the full routine.) It was a special moment…. and one that got me thinking.
First thought…is this how all Olympians start out? Couldn’t be…but maybe!
Second…. where does this pure passion for life and learning come from? More importantly…. WHERE DOES IT GO?! This is something that needs to be fostered, sought after and protected!
Most of us learn to suppress visceral and passionate responses (mainly to retain employment and adhere to social conventions), but in some cases the passion may be supplanted by other learning.
However, some of us (and I would argue the lucky ones) find ourselves in environments where learning is uninhibited. Each new lesson is a “Watch this dad” moment. Learning so pure and rich—for intrinsic and highly personalized reasons—that we needn’t seek approval from the adults around us…. we KNOW it’s cool!
In looking at our District’s new Vision and Strategic Directions I’m pleased to share that I think there are many “watch this” moments on the horizon for our students. After all, we will be fervently developing each and every student’s love and tenacity for learning.
Now that’s something we can all be passionate about!
Originally posted August 14, 2012
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