Can You Do More?

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photo credit: pipitdapo via photopin cc

photo credit: pipitdapo via photopin cc

I’m not a particularly religious person, but I do attend mass with my Catholic family occasionally. Recently, I was inspired by a homily, in which the priest used the phrase, “the more.”

Inspirational stories for teachers

The phrasing in this particular homily made the message especially striking, because I don’t think I’d ever heard the word “more” used in this fashion. As I often do with speeches of any kind, I found myself wondering how the lesson might be applied to the classroom teacher.

So, I wondered, how can teachers do more. Moreover, can they give their students The More?
This theme was pretty easy, as the homily’s meaning wasn’t hidden. “The more” is simply doing more than is expected. Educators are often asked to do more, and often the more they’re asked to do seems unreasonable.

The story in the homily explained how a Pharisee invited Christ into his home for dinner and provided what he believed to be appropriate traditional courtesies.

Meanwhile, a woman, known as a sinner, felt the need to do more. She washed Christ’s feet with her hair, making the Pharisee wonder why Christ wouldn’t dismiss such a sinner. She wanted to do more than simply open the door, though, so Christ saw her as penitent and generous and he forgave her.

Contemplating this simple but powerful story, I wondered if teachers can do more. Can they, in spite of the demands of the bureaucracy, give their students even more than they already give?

We invite kids into our classrooms; we give them books, activities and tests. Then, sadly, we often send them away, without much thought.

As you approach another teaching day, ask yourself if you can do more. In the Common Core, high stakes testing world, it’s easy to be caught up in the traditional school routine.

Ask yourself if you are like the Pharisee, who simply opens the door?

Or, are you the woman, willing to give your students the more?

Please visit our inspirational stories for teachers archive.

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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