I've always liked those little sound-bites of wisdom that are found everywhere, from the single snippets on the pages of a calendar, to the hundreds of literary gems compiled into books and on websites. I am usually drawn to certain individuals, who combine wit with sage advice: Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Mark Twain, and Ben Franklin.
Occasionally I've wished I was smart enough to come up with the original one-liner worth repeating -- a quotable phrase, words that would always be associated with me.
Last year I was surprised to find out I DID have that signature sentence.
A film maker was in my classroom interviewing students for a documentary about an arts program I initiated at my school. She asked students, what were some of the most important things they learned in my classes. Time and time again they answered,
"Don't do anything half-assed."
Huh?...I knew I had high expectations, I always pushed my students to do their best. I just never realized I used that term often enough to have it immediately associated with ME.
Figures. The pearl of educational wisdom my students will always remember includes a border-line vulgarity. The thing is, it is such a succinct expression for my expectations, it is certainly memorable... and it seems to be working.