Make Your Scholars T.H.I.R.S.T for Knowledge

9:18 AM

Make Your Scholars T.H.I.R.S.T for Knowledge

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Manny Scott speak in my school district. Last year, I had the opportunity to hear him speak again at the ASCD conference in Boston. His story was so riveting. Both times he had me on the edge of my seat, wanting to hear more. More than that, he helped me to reevaluate my role as an educator by giving me just a glimpse into his life and how educators helped him to overcome so many obstacles. I realized then, more than ever, just how important my life and role as an educator is. We are with our scholars several hours every day and we have a rare opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives. So, as an educator it became my mission to do just that. It also became my mission to try and help other educators realize it as well. If you have never heard Manny Scott speak, and you have the opportunity to do so, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DO IT!

In his speech, Manny Scott talks about a speech he gave in Texas. As he was talking, he used the old cliche, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." As he tells it, there was an old cowboy in the audience who just wasn't buying it. The fellow stood up and said, "Hold up Manny, I'm on the farm everyday. And I get what you're saying. Horses are stubborn, but I can get them to drink. I may not be able to physically make him drink, but I sure can give him a SALT LICK and make him THIRSTY!" Manny Scott used that to say that as educators, we have to make our scholars thirsty for knowledge. And if we do things to make them thirsty, they will definitely drink up all of the knowledge that we are pouring.

That got me to thinking about my career in education. It got me thinking about my responsibility as an educator and it got me thinking about the things that I can do to make my scholars THIRST for knowledge. So every summer, I take the time to reflect on my school year. I ask myself what went well? What was a strength of mine? Are my scholars better or worse because of me? If they are better, how are they better? How effective was I in making them THIRST for knowledge? What was a weakness? How will I get better? How will I improve? How will I start next year with my mission in mind? As an educator, it is important that we are super reflective. The only way that we can become better is to reflect on what we have done, and plan for what is to come.

Since hearing Manny Scott speak, I took the time to turn T.H.I.R.S.T into an acronym and those letters guide me as I plan for the my role the next year. This is a breakdown of what THIRST means to me!

T - Teach them!

H - Help them understand who they are!

I - Instill a Growth Mindset!

R - Respect them!

S - SALT (those special things that will make them thirsty)

T - Time and Talk!

In my next couple of blog posts, I will explore each of these letters and explain to you how I use them to plan for my school year. I will also show you how I use them to reflect on my practices. I hope that you have enjoyed this post and I hope that you stick around to learn more!

by The Playbook

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