The problem isn’t the lack of rigor, it’s the relevance Part 2 of 3

Posted: April 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Rigor, relevance and relationships were my “Big 3” when I began my leadership role about 7 years ago. I would say my “Big 3” have certainly changed but not all that much just in order- relationships, relevance and rigor. I may call them different things but the three R’s are still very important to what drives my work. Although relationships and people are the most critical elements of a successful school, relevance is something that is far more difficult to attain but equally as important. As for rigor…

“Rigor is defined as thno student ever minee difficult and unpleasant conditions or experiences that are associated with something; harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment; an act or instance of strictness, severity, or cruelty.” Rigor is important but a little overrated.

As I stated in my previous post, passion based learning or teaching sets the stage for growing grit. It is the relevance to what we do. Students need to know the why. For generations educators have been asked the age old question, “Why do we need to learn this?” We should be able to answer that for students. As the information age becomes part of our past thanks to Google, it is increasingly important for people to ask why and why not questions. We need to foster questioning in our students.  The answers to those questions provides the relevance that students need in order to be curious, inquisitive and gritty.

Students need to see what passion looks like. Teachers need to model passion for their content and for learning. Passion is necessary to grow grit.  5 ways to instill passion in your students and in your classroom:

1. Give students choice

2. Celebrate innovation and risk taking – be ready to take the risks

3. Take time to discover students’ passions

4. Find students authentic audiences for their passions

5. Provide time for creative thought and inquiry


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