The consequences for students of settling for too little

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The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.   – Thomas Merton

Temptation to settle for too little must be a well-established part of the human condition if Thomas Merton finds it worthy of comment.

What might that temptation mean for educators?

• We may settle for too little from ourselves.

• We may settle for too little from our students.

• We may settle for too little from our colleagues and the school community.

Like in all things, the remedy begins with us—with intention and commitment we move beyond comfortable beliefs, goals, habits, and routines to attempt things which may seem impossible.

• We envision schools in which every student experiences quality teaching every day.

• We envision schools in which all teachers continuously improve throughout their careers.

• We envision schools in which teachers and students are surrounded by supportive relationships.

Taken together, we envision schools in which everyone learns and thrives, and we do all that we can each day to enable their creation.

And should we fall short of that aspiration, I am confident we would have accomplished far more than we would have if we had pursued more modest goals.

And I’m confident no one will have accused us of settling for too little.

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