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Belief is powerful stuff. 

As John Mayer writes in his song Belief:
"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword
Like punching under water
You never can hit who you're trying for"

Because it is so powerful, belief in things like plans, ideologies and pedagogies can definitely cause collateral damage and unintended consequences.  What Louder Than a Bomb and this conference has demonstrated so clearly to me is that belief in people is the catalyst for transformative change in education.

Believing in someone really is trickier than believing in something.  I know because even though I have a belief that every student has intrinsic worth and potential, it doesn't take much for me to forget that and become disappointed when a student doesn't meet my expectations for them.  Of course, my expectations are not the point.  As educators, we get students with baggage, but we can't change their past and we can't make their futures, all we can do is believe in their potential and help them explore the world and experience things they may have never imagined for themselves, so they can raise their own expectations. 

Vicki Davis often reminds her readers that teaching is a noble calling.  A calling is something you do because you believe in it.  Louder Than a Bomb demonstrates what that calling looks like in all sorts of educational environments and how children from all sorts of backgrounds thrive when someone believes in them.

Belief is powerful stuff. 

As Ben Harper writes in his song Better Way:
"Take your face out of your hands
And clear your eyes
You have a right to your dreams
And don't be denied

I believe in a better way"

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Tags: Ben Harper, Better Way, John Mayer, Louder Than a Bomb, Vicki Davis, belief, believe, poetry slam

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