Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting Smart

I don't remember the first time someone called me smart. For a long time, I assumed smart was something I simply was through no action of my own. To a degree, that is true. We each are born with certain aptitudes, gifts, talents and mine happened to be learning things easily. But I am beginning to realize as I watch my own sons grow and welcome another group of 136 students into my life, that being smart is only something we are if we choose to be and if we work at it. The smart I was in 2nd grade certainly would not qualify me as smart today at 36.

So, how then do I encourage my students and my children to get smart, to be smart? Even in my Honors and AP classes, students label others as "the smart ones." All of them are in a class designed for advanced students and yet many do not view themselves as smart. And then others assume they are smart and do not work very hard at getting smart.

Smart is working hard to learn and loving the constant evolution of one's self as the learning occurs. Smart is taking school seriously enough to enjoy it. That is what I want to encourage in my children and what I want to inspire in my students.