A Question Posed
Earlier this week I asked a question:
What’s the difference between a dedicated and a passionate educator?
To give you a bit of background, this all arose from an issue I’m dealing with at school. I can’t go into too much detail, but I will say this–I feel that all teachers need to be accountable for their own growth and development before they can blame the system or their colleagues for their personal ineptitudes and inadequacies in the classroom. I tweeted a few time regarding this, asking when does a teacher finally begin to reflect and quit pointing fingers.
In an attempt to be positive, a question arose from a thought I had during one of the recent awkward and uncomfortable meetings we have had. As I sat and listened, I asked myself, “Does any teacher ever really want to be mediocre?” I had assumed that every teacher was dedicated to the cause. If they weren’t, why would they be here? Right? So I posed the question on Twitter, hoping that I could reaffirm that no teacher wanted to be a bad teacher, but that it was merely a difference between dedication and passion.
Now I’ll admit my query didn’t deal directly with my concern, but I wanted to know if there was a difference; a difference between one’s dedication to the classroom and an actual passion for learning/teaching. I didn’t want to assume too much. I wanted to look at it as half-full. I wanted to really think that all teachers were dedicated but some may just lack a degree of motivation or essential skills.
Here are some responses that I got (no particular order):
As you can see from above, there was a common thread–dedication often precedes passion, or, you can be dedicated but not necessarily passionate. I wasn’t looking for any grandiose response, but I did feel better that a few educators felt the same way I did. So this is how I see it, an answer to my own question.
Dedication is one’s commitment to something; a cause, a job, anything of importance. It requires an effort to meet certain expectations and is often done mostly by one’s free will.
Passion is a progression of such dedication. Passion is the next level of commitment, shown by a willingness to go beyond the expectations, giving of one’s self because of an exceeding love or devotion to the cause.
So what does all this mean? My issue really isn’t dealing with passion, or even dedication for that matter, is it? I honestly don’t want to (nor can I really) go into this matter anymore. This is simply one of those, “I feel better just writing it
” moments. I can honestly say that I hope this situation can turn around. I want all teachers to succeed, proving me and all my preconceived notions wrong. My passion for learning, for my classroom, for all of education will require me to do what I can to support my colleagues. It will require me to remember that I’m not only learning with my students, but with my entire school. Each student is my responsibility in some way. My heart tells me that and my passion will ensure that I do it.