June 16, 2013

The More

I'm not a particularly religious person, but I do attend mass with my Catholic family occasionally. I was struck by the homily today, in which the priest used the phrase, "the more."

Photo credit: UPI.com
The phrasing made the message especially powerful, since I don't think I'd ever heard the adjective "more" used as a noun. As I often do with speeches of any kind, I found myself wondering how the lesson might be applied to the classroom.

This one was pretty easy, as its meaning wasn't hidden. "The more" is simply doing more than is expected. The story in the homily explained how a Pharisee invited Christ into his home for dinner and provided what he believed to be appropriate respect and courtesy.

Meanwhile, a woman, known as a sinner, washed Christ's feet with her hair, making the Pharisee wonder why Christ wouldn't dismiss such a sinner. She did more than simply open the door to her home, though, and Christ forgave her.

So, I wondered, how can teachers give their students The More?

We invite them into our classrooms; we give them books, activities and tests. Then, sadly, we often send them away.

Are we the Pharisee, who simply opened the door?

Or, are we the woman, who always gives The More?

Which one are you?

Don't miss Mark's book ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.com

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