Monday, July 19, 2010

My favorite quote

"Treat people as if they are what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In college, I had this quote taped to my desk in my dorm room, and later in my apartment. When I got my first 'real' job at KU, I put it on my bulletin board in my office. It reminded me of my 'philosophy of education', and I liked how it made me feel when I read it, and how I related it to my chosen career field. You see, when you go to interview for jobs in higher education, they will always ask you what your philosophy of education is. My philosophy is that everyone is an individual - that every person who walks into my office brings with them a unique set of circumstances, backgrounds, issues, and ideas. In my work with them, I prefer to focus on their individuality and in that, I seek to treat them as if they already are what they could be. When I have a freshman in my office who is failing a course, I don't focus on their failure - I focus on the success that they are capable of.

As I unpacked my new office last week, I came across this quote again. It made me pause, and I realized I we should use this philosophy in every day life.

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