Monday, April 21, 2014

Blame No One, Expect Nothing, Do Something

Blame No One, Expect Nothing, Do Something
I first heard this quote when I was in my second or third year of teaching. I was half listening to some ESPN reporter interview a football coach about how he motivates his football players. My head shot up from whatever book I had my nose in and when I heard him say those seven words. He has this quote in the team locker room as a reminder, you are the only one to blame for your mistakes, you are not entitled to anything, and if you don’t like it, do something about it, at least that is how I remembered. I immediately grabbed some paper and wrote down the quote.

This quote meant a lot to me at the time for three reasons. First, I was a coach myself, I was coaching high school volleyball, basketball, and golf. There were so many times on the court and course I would talk to my girls about respect, work ethic, and entitlement (aka playing time). This quote became my coaching tagline. Second, I was a 9th and 10th grade reading intervention teacher. I have always believed that students need to take ownership of their own learning. I put this quote up in the front of my room. Whenever a student was complaining or making excuses I simply pointed to the quote and told them to “do something. It was amazing how quick the conversation would change. Last, I was also a literacy coach. A new teacher attempting to coach teachers that had been teaching longer than I had been alive! For this reason this quote became my personal motivation. When things got tough and/or frustrating (usually to the point when I was sitting in my office crying) I would remember these seven words, pull up my big girl panties, and “do something” instead of continuing to cry about it.  

Over the years this quote has not only become my tag line, it has become my philosophy.

Blame No One
  • Even with all the negatives in education, we are still responsible for how and what our student learn, how they perform, and who they become.
  • When our students do not learn or perform we can’t blame them, we need to think “what could I have done better?”
  • You can’t think that you can’t ever do something.

Expect Nothing
  • No one is entitled.
  • No one will do it for you.
  • Go out and learn it yourself.
  • Set high expectations for yourself and your students and remember, you get what you expect.

Do Something
  • The longer you talk about it, the longer it takes to get it done.
  • Find others with the same thoughts and ideas.
  • Make a plan, tell your plan to others, pitch your idea.
  • Do it now, ask later.
  • Be the change.

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