“Never underestimate the power of passion.” Eve Sawyer

This week I was in a fourth grade classroom teaching while a teacher was absent. The saying, ‘Things happen for a reason’ came into effect for me. I re-learned an important lesson that has made me rethink some of the ‘programs/projects’ I wanted to implement in my school, as a math/science facilitator this year. It all started with a 4th grade boy.

To get to know the students better, along with having the students learn about each other, we did acrostic poems that describe ourselves. The students used their last names and for each letter they wrote a word or phrase that best portrayed who they are. I was blown away at the great word choices the students came up with but one student’s word choice has made me think for days! This little boy had a U in his name and wrote underestimated. When I read it, my first thought was, does he know what it means. I quickly found out not only did he know what it meant but he could tell me that he could do a lot more then what people think. He said he loved to learn new things but is taugh the same things. I found this motivating.

I instantly was determined to challenge this little boy. Then it got me considering how many other students might be thinking that they are underestimated too. No one should feel underestimated. I want students to know they are smart and can do anything. If they are feeling underrated then they feel no one believes they can do it when in fact I do believe any student can achieve.

This brings me back to my quote I started with, “Never underestimate the power of passion.” These students, along with many other students, have the passion to learn and we as educators can not let students down. How do we do that?

I know the key is to set high expectations but we also need to challenge the students and let them problem solve. We must facilitate in the classroom, posing high order thinking questions. It is essential to pretend we don’t know the answer to questions the students pose to us, so in turn the students find the answer.

Not underestimating students will be what I will be thinking about when I implement these new ideas. I hope this blog inspires others to not underestimate their students!

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Comments on: "Never Underestimate Students" (1)

  1. Well said! Or rather well written!

    I would add that we should also not underestimate ourselves and what we are capable of doing when we are passionate about what we do.

    The quote I like to share that helps inspire me to be passionate about elementary science is this …. “push the ones you care about, thank the ones who who care enough to push”.

    Students understand that quote when they apply it to things they enjoy doing — sports, music, dance, etc. — they seldom apply that saying to academics and teachers.

    My experience has been that we also need to “push ourselves” to do our best. To do our best we should not underestimate our impact on students nor our abilities to help students be better students.

    Wayne Fisher

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