‘All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.’
– Proverbs 14:23 NIV
Today I asked my students to write down Proverbs 14:23, without telling them it was a proverb or passage of scripture, and explain to me in their own words what this statement meant. They had to copy the statement and write their responses in their journals first. The following are some of the responses I received back:
Stop talking, start doing.
Effort & determination lead to success.
Work hard=something; talking=nothing
Teachers open the door, but students must go through.
I use to post my thought for the day daily (usually from Proverbs) on my chalkboard early in my career and some students were insightful enough to understand that some of them were taken from the bible. The purpose for the ‘Thought for the Day’ was a way of communicating my expectations without having to ‘say it.’ From time to time, a student would refer to it when either I, or another student, would make a comment related to the particular thought for the day. Also, some of the student’s responses could be used as future thoughts to post and have students reflect upon.
Work hard=reward; talking=consequence
Hard work pays off; talking brings trouble
Talk is cheap. Show what you want to work for.
With my 8th graders I asked them to respond by recording their insights from two separate statements (copy and complete):
Hard work produces……….
Student responses: money, good grades, good results, success
An example of poverty in relation to school work would be…………
Student responses: bad grades, failing the class, lack of success, poor work ethic
I then posed an open-ended question to them to explain how hard work and character go together and one student replied, ‘A person who has quality character is willing to work hard.’ I like the way the ‘Thought for the Day’ will reinforce what I would say without having to put it into words and the student’s responses usually will summarize what I would normally say anyway. At the beginning of instruction, it helps the transition from being led by the instructor into independent instruction easier due to their current reflection on appropriate conduct (personal accountability). I explained to the students my desire to see the application, or demonstration, of what is understood from what was discussed. So far, today has been a good day!