As a classroom teacher, I often think about our slogan, ‘Be Ambitious’ and wonder: “What does it actually mean?” It leads me to think back to my own college education, and the time I proudly informed my professor that I would be heading to University to study to be a Primary School Teacher. His response was one that shocked me to my core and, ironically, formed the foundations of my pedagogy.
“Oh, Emma. Is that your only ambition?”
As well as lacking the fundamental understanding of how to motivate and encourage young people, what this professor failed to realize, is that ambition is more than having the ‘best’ grades. It’s more than attending the ‘best’ college. It’s more than having the ‘best’ job.
Ambition is that little voice in the corner of the classroom, quietly whispering, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” It’s the lightbulb moment in the eyes of the child that has finally grasped their 3 times tables. It’s the student that refuses to put down their pencil, just to have one minute longer on that challenging Math problem. It’s the excited squeals of young boys and girls as their imagination is fuelled with excitement about their new class topic. Ambition is not just seeking an end goal; it’s the tiny flame burning inside us all that, when ignited by the embers of passion, excitement and determination, sets the world on fire. And that’s what I, along with all the other teachers at BISC Lincoln Park, want most for our students: to set the world on fire.