What is constant in education? The first and most obvious value is passion. The primary concern of education professionals and parents is that students be well-educated and business and communities demonstrate their share in that concern by supporting those efforts. All these groups are passionate about effective education.

There is no better way to write about passion than to show examples with stories. Here is one childhood story of Maximize Performance co-author Quint Studer, which demonstrates so well the why behind our passion for what we do each day as educators.

When I went to high school, I decided to play soccer because it was the only sport where they didn’t cut anybody. My soccer coach, Mr. King, had a way of correcting me without destroying me. He would come up to me and say, “Quint, way to hustle! Way to get to that ball!” Then, almost as an afterthought, he’d add, “Next time, let’s put the foot out. But hey, you got there! Way to go!”

You know how I felt? Pretty good. I had hustled. I had gotten there. And the next time, you better believe that I remembered to put my foot out. Suppose he said, “Quint! What’s the matter with you? What good does it do for you to run all that way if you don’t kick the ball? Sit down now so I can put somebody else in.” I might have run a little slower next time to make sure I didn’t get yelled at for missing the ball. Coach King taught me to go for the ball.

If district and school leaders, teachers, and students only hear about what we can’t do, it seems easier to give up. Many of us do. In fact, of the people who leave their jobs, a great many leave within the first 90 days. About 27 percent of all employees who leave do so during this period of employment. They don’t leave to go work in some other industry. They just give up on their current employer and try another one. I believe this is because they hear too much about what they can’t do instead of what they can do.


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