“What if we hired people who did not look at teaching as a “career” but as a “passion”?”
“What if we recognized and build on learners’ strengths?” ~ George Couros
Being a member of many interview panels for future teacher candidates, it melts my heart when I hear members of the committee discredit an individual by saying, “Well, they don’t have any experience…”
Honestly, one of the first things interview committees should consider are the questions they’re asking as well as the results they’re expecting. Are we asking “Googleable” questions? Do we want the candidate to participate in the interview process or reveal their passion–their heart, their strengths? If we want the latter, we must ask questions that allow the candidate’s enthusiasm to shine. I’m entirely convinced that almost any behavior can be taught and learned. Therefore, give me a passionate educator, and I’ll coach them through any content that might be missing.
Passion drives learning.
The same concept should be considered for students. Are we asking students to participate in class and meet our preconceived expectations, or are we tapping into their strengths and allowing their passion to motivate the learning process?
Below is a video of third-grade students during a Design Thinking Project. They just received their survey results, but haven’t yet gotten to the “interpreting data” unit in math. The desire to understand their audience, to create a game, motivated them to ask their teacher and me how to analyze the data. We gave them a quick ten-minute lesson. Take a look at the video. Did passion promote learning? In what ways might the learning process differ had they participated in the traditional “interpreting data” math unit?