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Inspiration is hard but worth it

My oldest daughter is in middle school this year. 

She has always done very well at school (she gets it from her mother) and we are very happy with the school and her teachers. 

Except for one teacher actually. 

Let’s call this teacher Mrs X.

The problem with Mrs. X is that she doesn’t inspire the kids. Instead, she provides the minimum. She misses appointments outside of the class. She gives them exceptionally difficult tests where even the brightest kids are getting C- or C+. The kids then get their grade up through homework assignments.

It creates an environment where the kids are in learning but they dont’ feel good about the process or about their their own confidence in this subject matter. I’ve seen with my daugher someone who used to love this subject to someone that is insecure about her skills – all in less than 6 months. I’ve also talked to other parents that had dealt with Mrs X over the years with other children. Same experience.

You can imagine how that feels as a parent. Its disheartening. So I’m doing stuff about it and I believe things will get better. 

But this sort of teaching style reminds me of some CEOs and VCs I know. 

Instead of inspiring others to the best of their abilities, they beat down their staff or their management teams. The company makes progress but the company loses its soul. The team ends up working for a paycheck or focused on their stock vs the mission of the company. The company may likely make their goals for the near term but everything else suffers as a result. And the long term harm is critical.

Inspiring others is hard. But it separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.