Inspirations and Aspirations

by | Mar 26, 2016 | Critical Thinking, Deeper Learning, self-reflection, Student Engagement

I frequently hear references to student aspirations and teacher inspiration. These are two great concepts. However, I think there is a striking imbalance between them.

Student aspirations focus on the attainment or accomplishment of a specific goal, for example, high school graduation, college acceptance and securing a job.

Teacher inspiration focuses on influencing students to do their best and strive for attainable goals. Usually inspiration includes emotional motivation and creativity.

To me, the corresponding imbalance comes from the focus on teachers inspiring students to aspire to higher levels of achievement and development.

Wouldn’t it be more effective for there to be mutually beneficial relationships in which students inspire teachers to aspire to greater development and capacity as well as teachers motivating students?

In my experience, the best schools are those in which students and teachers inspire each other to aspire for achievable yet challenging goals. Such relationships yield greater opportunities for all to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and attitudes as well as recognize we all need motivation, encouragement and support from others to be our best self.

Terry Pickeral
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Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickeral, has extensive experience in policy development, advocacy, education reform, youth leadership, teaching and learning strategies, education collaborations, evaluation and civic development. His commitment is to ensuring schools create and sustain quality teaching and learning environments for all students to be successful in school and contribute to their communities as active principled citizens.
Terry Pickeral
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