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Have Hope/Give Hope

I was tinkering around the house on Friday when my Mom called IMG_0074“Have you heard about the terrorist attack at the soccer game in Europe?”

I hadn’t…And as my wife and I watched the news that evening, I felt so many emotions running through my brain.  Our second anniversary had been spent in Europe with students.  We took pictures in all of the cool places: the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and Westminster Abby.  My wife had her picture drawn by an artist at Montmartre in Paris, it is my most treasured image of her.

I wonder though…

And this tragedy brought back memories of things from the past: actually hearing the explosion that destroyed the Murrah Building (I was studying for a test in my car at the University of Central Oklahoma – my car shook), watching the Twin Towers fall, seeing the footage of the London bombings, the Charlie Hebdo attack from earlier this year, and more recently the Russian plane being destroyed in Egypt…so much human suffering, it is heart breaking.

I pray for those impacted in Paris, such a terrible loss of life. #prayingforparis

Then my thoughts moved to teachers and students and all of the different terrible things that have happened in our schools – shootings, gang violence, tornados…it takes your breath away.

Through all of this, I have hope.  Hope is the one thing that every person on the planet needs.  Hope keeps us going through the darkest of the night.  Hope helps us engage in the world around us in a positive way.  Hope pushes us to reach new heights and explore strange new worlds.  Hope gives life.  Hope is a light in the dark.

Hope has led us to discover so many things in this world.  Polio, for the most part, has been eradicated.  Dr. Jonas Salk had hope that he could help conquer this disease, so he worked to do so.  Researchers all over the world hope to cure cancer and AIDS and hundreds of other debilitating conditions.  They have hope, because without it, what is the point of continuing?

I have hope for our teachers and our students.  We appear to be living in a time of great turmoil inside our educational system.  Yet, teachers and students are doing amazing things!  Teachers are finding their voice and sharing the cool things that are happening inside their classrooms.  Teachers have so much on their plate and yet, day after day, they give hope to their students.

Students who have no hope, shut down and give up.  They will refuse to do anything – why bother, it won’t matter – is the typical mode of thinking.  However, give a student hope, they will fly to the moon and back.  Give a student hope and they will work.  Give a student hope and they will grasp at it with anything they can use.

Give a student hope and you can change the trajectory of their life.

Looking back at all that has happened – I have hope.  In the aftermath of this tragedy, I have HOPE!  If each person who reads this pours hope into someone else, the world will change.  As soon as you finish reading – text someone and say thank you.  Call them and give some encouragement.  Email a motivational message to a person who needs hope.

Don’t Wait – or the opportunity will be gone…


About Scott

My name is Scott. After 18.5 years as a high school math teacher in public education I have made the move to become a full time PhD student. This decisions was difficult, but has been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. Teaching in high school was an incredible experience for me, so leaving an environment that I loved for the unknown was a challenge. As I high school teacher, I taught almost every math course that could be offered. I was able to earn National Board Certification in Young Adult Math. I was honored as my building Teacher of the Year, no mean feat at Edmond Memorial High School!! My career changed as I became fascinated with educational technology and all of the things that it can do for teachers. I flipped my class. I used iPads and blogging (in high school math!!). I started using gamification and mastery learning. I changed my practice. I chose to go back to school to learn as much as I could. To bring that knowledge from academia and research to the teacher on the front line. I have had the opportunity to present at several conferences and share what I have learned with others. Its through these connections that we can be the best teachers we can for our students. They deserve it and we sell ourselves short when we don't give it. I love talking with teachers about change. About incorporating educational technology. About the power that they have to change lives. My blog space is me, it shares my passions and frustrations, my joys and my learnings. If you are interested in what I am studying, please visit my graduate school pages. If you are interested in the flipped classroom, I have some links to get your started. I would love to meet you! Do not hesitate to reach out! I would enjoy the opportunity to work with your staff or trade ideas with your teachers - let me know! Have a great day! #BeBrilliant


One thought on “Have Hope/Give Hope

  1. From your post: “Give a student hope and you can change the trajectory of their life.” Indeed, hope can change the trajectory of their life – for anyone… Oh, but don’t overlook the importance of ‘can’ in this instance. It depends upon what approach is implemented in addressing that hope. I’d also ask if anyone can ‘give’ hope to anyone else…

    First, ‘can’: Hope is important for two reasons as I see it. It is the one thing maybe that cannot be taken away; we can only discard it. And I t can be thought of as a wish (I HOPE my students develop the skills of effective learning! How great would it be if they do… I’ll tell them about those skills and that they can develop them as I provide the content and assess their level of giving them back to me.) or as a goal (With facilitation from me and their considerations of the task for them, I HOPE we can work together so the students develop the skills of effective learning.).

    And then, ‘give’: I don’t think we can give hope anymore than we can teach anyone anything or even tell anyone how to do anything more than the simplest of tasks (E.g., we can tell someone how to open a cardboard box and what might be done to utilize the materials within the box; but cannot tell them how to optimize the use of those materials!). As Dan Pink says in ‘Drive’, we can provide the environment that generates the motivation within us to do our best – through his elements: mastery, purpose, and autonomy.

    Bottom line: IF we’re supportive and IF we seek to facilitate the skills of effective learning and effective problem solving and IF the learners are motivated to engage, the HOPE associated with our support and their goals can lead to unpredictable but incredible outcomes. Keys to such efforts are regular self-assessment and acceptance of taking risks. It CAN happen for anyone but no one can GIVE ‘it’ to anyone…

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by jcbjr9455 | November 16, 2015, 8:42 am

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