This is my 15th year in education. I have not regretted the path I have chosen. This is what I was meant to do. I found joy in teaching our future…preparing them to leave this world better than when they came in. I now find joy in teaching teachers…helping guide them to get the best out of themselves and their students.
I do regret the direction education seems to be heading. While I agree that testing and data collection has its place, I think we are going way overboard now. We test…and collect…and test…and collect. It seems our whole year is spent collecting and dis-aggregating data. I do not understand how this does us any good. We spend so much time testing, collecting, and dis-aggregating that there is no time left to do anything with the data!
Teaching is not solely about data. It is an important piece, but it is only one piece. Teaching is about passion, both for the teacher and the students. You must be able to enjoy what you do. Take pride in it. Students and teachers alike should end each day wanting to learn more…discover more…share more. Passion is what will drive a teacher to create those lessons that they could sell tickets for. Passion is what will lead a student to go above and beyond what the assignment is and end up with a product they can truly take ownership of and pride in. We want to celebrate learning…not collect data on it.
If a student is to learn…truly learn…and perform to the best of their abilities, they need to find their passion. I believe many will be able to tell or show you what their passion is. We need to allow for them to express it, then find a way to incorporate it into their learning.
If a teacher is to teach…truly teach…and perform to the best of their abilities, they also need to find their passion and be able to share it. It must be incorporated into the way they teach.
Administrators…do you know what drives your staff? Have you discussed with them what their passions are? Do you know where they are headed and what they see for their future?
Teachers…do you know what drives your students? Have you taken the time to really get to know them? Have you discussed with them what your passions are and allowed time to learn theirs?
I know what comes next. “I DON’T HAVE TIME!” I argue that you need to make time. Time lost spent building relationships and feeding that passion will be returned to you time and again.
Administrators…please find time for your teachers to build on the passion that drove them to this profession in the first place. Being a teacher is a calling. Being a great teacher is driven by passion…and passion is contagious. This is one time you don’t mind something being spread throughout your campus!