Motivational Monday: Dead Poet’s Society Carpe Diem Scene

To bad businesses and coffee mugs wrung most of the meaning out of this movie, however, it is worth re-seeing and remember the true meaning of this scene from Dead Poet's Society.

The teacher has the students come over to the trophy case at the school, here is some of what he says:

“I want you to step over here and peruse the faces from the past… they're not that different from you are they… did they wait till it was too late to make from their lives one iota of what it was capable… you see boys, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils.”

He asks them to lean in and hear what they say:

“Sieze the Day, Make your Lives Extraordinary.”

Many teachers have walked these halls before us. Many will come after. We can muddle through, just get by. Put one foot in front of the other… do the bare minimum.

Or we can do something with our day.

We can make our lives extraordinary.

We can make our classes extraordinary.

Never mind that we're exhausted and have a thousand reasons to go on autopilot. We have 20 or 30 reasons sitting right in front of us to put all of our heart into today… bright shiny faces who need to know how to live.

I need motivation on Mondays. Do you need it? And if you need it, don't the students need it?

Are you sharing these videos? Are you pushing them to greatness? You may be the only motivational speaker that many kids every see. If you don't have the spark to be motivational, then expose them to things like this that do!

Get up off that squeaky desk chair and make a difference today! Seize the day! (And don't every think something is too trite to come back and repeat it again! A lot of our kids have never seen this movie.)

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4 thoughts on “Motivational Monday: Dead Poet’s Society Carpe Diem Scene

  1. how true–this clip is just as real today as it was when this debuted…Wes Fryer made the comment the other day that we need to “be the change we want to see”…it is easy to sit back and do school the same way we always have, but we have to be the ones who step up to the challenge!

  2. This is a little chessy, but I really think we as teachers all need a way to continue to motivate ourselves and if this works than run with it. Congrats on wanting to be better then average!

  3. “Never mind that we’re exhausted and have a thousand reasons to go on autopilot. We have 20 or 30 reasons sitting right in front of us to put all of our heart into today… bright shiny faces who need to know how to live.”
    This idea is so good for us, as teachers and prospective teachers, to hear, as many times as necessary. Having just gone to the Illinois Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages this last weekend, I heard a very similar message. The keynote speaker at the conference had the aim to motivate the foreign languages teachers to never lose heart or passion for the students or the language. Seeing the speaker’s own commitment and passion inspired me so much, and I felt like that speech was the best of the entire conference. Yes, teaching is challenging and reaquires a ton of time and planning. That’s why it’s good to be reminded every now and again the reason that we do it! For the love of the students, and the love of the game. The more we can do to motivate and encourage one another as educators, the better.

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