Friday, August 13, 2010

shoot for the moon

"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land among the stars." - Less Brown (in the photo)

Have you seen this quote before? I take it to mean if you aim high, even if you don't achieve that ultimate goal you will still have achieved success in trying.

Less Brown, in his writings, often references this Goethe quote that I like a lot and I think is important for teachers and those who work with "challenging" students. "Look at a man the way that he is, he only becomes worse. But look at him as if he were what he could be, then he becomes what he should be. ”
I am going to put that quote above my desk to remind me how to treat my students each day.

Our SIP, for the second year, is to improve our students writing skills. After intense arguing last year it was decided that asking the elective teachers to teach writing lessons in addition to their elective subject all in 30 min was unfair. Instead it was decided that elective teachers would teach the concept of persistence. We were not given any guidance on how to do this, or any way to measure it so I'm not to sure how successful we were. Regardless that is my part of the SIP once again this year, teach persistence.

When I remember the Less Brown quote I thought, hey that is a great way to encourage students. I also am putting posters around my room that say, Give it a try! If at first you don't succeed then try again! You can do it! Set a goal for yourself! Its a good thing my fav food is cheese because I'm cheesing it up this year.

The best part of the quote, (which I have made into a 16 ft long banner, decorated with gold and silver paint and hung in the front of my room) is that it comes with a decorating theme. Outer space and stars. Thank you $1 tree for having big room decoration stickers that are stars and planets.

I still don't know how to measure persistence though...or at least get quantifiable data to prove that I am teaching 560 students how to be persistent in one class per week. I might have more luck collecting data from my 6-8th classes that I see every day, yet I still don't know how to turn a character trait into a data number. Any ideas?


  1. What does SIP stand for? I've been trying to guess, but am coming up blank.

    This quote is great for art. I have a no complaining rule in my room, and this quote goes along with it nicely. I remind kids,when they try something really challenging and it didn't go quite as expected, to smile and remember that the world doesn't come to an end when an art project goes wrong, that nothing is wasted. They didn't waste time, because they learned something and had fun trying, they didn't waste materials because nothing is wasted if you put effort into trying. So I guess you could say no matter what they are in the stars!