It’s Not Our Beliefs That Transfer…It’s Our Passion

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A friend recently mailed me a copy of the book The Line and the Dot: Alternative thoughts on vision by Paul Gibbs. The book intrigued me because there is very little information on the outside of the book and I trust my friend’s recommendation. So I began reading a little bit. Tonight I came across the following excerpt:

During my time as a school pupil, I had learned a valuable lesson. In the religious education I’d received, I had two different teachers. They both taught me about Christianity, but one turned me off of God, and one turned me on to God. The first taught the program. The second taught passion.

The head of PSE agreed and gave me opportunities to teach lessons. My first memory of ever being introduced in a school went like this:

“Students, as you know, we have been going through a series teaching the myths of the world, and last week we looked at the story of Noah’s Ark. Well this week, we have found someone who actually believes that happened. His name is Paul Gibbs. Let’s welcome him to class.”

In a fifty minute lesson, I spent half of it trying to explain the logistics of how Noah’s Ark might have happened and the other half answering questions. Questions such as, “Have you always believed this?” and “Do your parents believe this?” Questions which led to answers such as, “No, but let me tell you about my skin disease…”

It is not our beliefs that transfer. It is our passion.

I have only been to one ice hockey game. I went with my two sons and a Canadian friend to whom ice hockey was a second religion. Three times a fight broke out on the ice…During the first fight, my sons and I were totally unmoved. We had a quick discussion with my friend who thought that the fights were just part of the game. During the second fight, my friend got quite excited. He could not help but shout encouragement to his team. I noticed my boys watching him. GThe third time he was on his feet cheering. My boys didn’t stand, but they also cheered along.

Interesting, isn’t it?

During all three fights, his beliefs never changed. But when he showed passion, my sons got excited and joined in.

It is not our beliefs that transfer. It is our passion.

Those two quick anecdotes along with the repetition of the phrase, “It is not our beliefs that transfer…It is our passion” combined to bring to mind some similar thoughts that Angela Maiers is having over on her blog this month. Her Passion Driven Conversations are really inspiring. She allowed me to contribute a post there, and I’m really not all too thrilled with what I wrote, but I do appreciate her invitation to participate. The concept I was trying to get across is: Inspire your students by inspiring their teacher. Again, I don’t know how effectively that idea came across though.

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I am convinced that passionate teachers are the ones who inspire students. If you are uninspired, you will see that reflected in the attitude that your students have. Your energy must feed their energy. If you don’t have energy, you are in for a very very long year.

If that’s you, you must FIND YOUR PASSION…immediately if not sooner.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

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