Being passionate about what you do and who you’re doing it for is usually considered a good thing. It often means that your work is not just a job, but a huge part of your life. That kind of passion can be a good thing, but it usually isn’t very objective. And when it comes to judging the quality of the target of your passion, that kind of subjectivity is somewhat suspect to those who need entirely unbiased criteria by which to make such a judgment. Your passion, in essence, rules you out as a viable critic.
That’s why it’s a joyous day when you have facts to back up that gut feeling, that deep-down core-of-your-being passion. Such a day was mine earlier this week when I sat in a meeting and heard the preliminary results of the first year of testing in a massive three-year study of the cognitive abilities of the students in school system across the country. I wasn’t alone. There were a couple dozen educators with me who were privy to the report the directors of the new study our school system is doing is doing. So far, the news is outstanding. So far, the results indicate that our efforts not only hold their own but our students are performing even better than expected in all subject areas and on all grade levels.
What an empowering experience it was! How validating to know that our work stands up!