Thursday, March 15, 2012

TED Talk: Winning and Success

Teachers, we need inspiration from a pep talk. We need the drive to perform at our best.  We need a game face.  We need a "winning attitude."  We need support from those around us.  Who needs this the most?  Students need our collective best efforts.

"No written word.
No spoken plea.
Can teach our youth.
What they should be.
Nor all the books on all the shelves
It's what the teachers are themselves"

This was a quote from an inspirational TED Talk from Coach John Wooden.  He was a UCLA coach and he had many great thoughts that relate to teaching and learning.  In addition, I feel his words can inspire us, as teachers, to strive for success rather than winning.  Wooden (2001) stated that the final score didn't always determine the winner or the successful players. 

"Don't whine.
Don't complain.
Don't make excuses.
Just get out there and do your best."

Most people (including me) are guilty of whining, complaining, and making excuses; however, this merely impedes success.  I want to succeed, and I want my students to succeed.  Without adhering to the advice above, I don't know if it is possible to succeed fully or to notice your actual success. 

As a reflective practitioner, I have questions and I will continue to have questions. At the front of my mind, is how to boost student performance. However, I don't know if performance on a standardized test truely matters.  Yes, we are judged by these scores, but students can succeed without passing a norm-referenced testing.  Here are some questions on my mind:
  • What should constitute success for a teacher?
  • What is success in the education field?
  • Is success to leave no child "behind?"
  • Is success defined by American students to "winning" on their prescribed standardized tests?
  • Will that cause America to gain control of the unstable economic issues and the border-less globalization occurring?
  • Do all students have to succeed in school in order to succeed in life? 
  • How can we suceed? 
To end, I wanted to post John Wooden's pyramid for success, which was found on his website.

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