Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why Passion is Important for Teachers..What Drives You?

Today I participated in #sunchat on Twitter where hundreds of teachers came together on a Sunday Morning to talk about what passion means to them as a teacher. Here are a few of my passions as a teacher and administrator: 

  • Working to engage and empower girls in STEM 
  • Developing natural cross-curricular ties to the arts and humanities in STEM  (you may be surprised to know in undergrad I double majored in english/communications & art history!) 
  • Creating agency in students through the use of innovative student-centered approaches like Design Thinking, Gamification and Connected Learning 
  • Supporting growth of faculty in implementing and infusing technology and innovative pedagogy into their classrooms
  • Getting to know and leveraging people's strengths
While these are five passions of mine, it was amazing to see what passions other teachers  across the globe have as well. Sharing success and passions you have as a teacher can inspire your students and colleagues. Encourage them to be passionate about whatever it is they are passionate about while supporting their growth. I especially loved what Jerry Blumengarten said: "Your passion to facilitate the learning of your students can have a positive impact on the rest of their lives. Be the change!" Another key message that stood out came from Rik Rowe: "Passionate teaching exists when the only guideline or rule in the classroom is having a respectful culture." Teachers who are flexible are never thrown off their game by going "off-script" - they allow for teachable moments in whatever shape or form they might be. I believe that innovative teachers, when they hit roadblocks, go into problem solving mode. This is great modeling for our students! 

So, what are you passionate about? How do you share it with students and help them grow their own passion? Innovative teachers share their passion and make things more interesting for their students. It might take a little more work, more imagination, and even a little improve! 

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