Last year took the wind out of my sails a bit. It wasn't enough to make me reconsider my choice of profession. Teaching is what I do. It's what I need to do. But I needed summer too. I needed time to simply catch my breath and think about something other than being a teacher. So I let my cravings for fiction take over my life. I read a few excellent professional books along the way as well, but there was one teacher book I had to read before my summer was over. So last week I started Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. I knew just enough about it to know it was the kind of read that would remind me of why teaching is what I do, as well as challenge me to push to the next level because there's always one waiting.
Burgess asked me to think about my professional passions. After twenty years in the classroom, the list could get long. I purposefully kept it concise.
I'm passionate about literacy.
I'm passionate about real world instruction instead of school world instruction.
I'm passionate about their hearts.
I'm passionate about their lifetime love of being a reader, writer, mathematician, scientist, etc.
It's one thing to create a list of passions. It's another to find evidence of their existence in my room. Do my professional passions affect my classroom? If this is an honest list, and I believe it is, it should carry considerable weight in every decision I make regarding my students. Our passions inspire. They challenge the status quo. And though it borders on sounding corny, they create a "burning hot passion for the awesome job and responsibility that lies before us." This is unquestionably true for me today, and no, it's not corny at all.
What are you passionate about?