This week I attended Staff Development for Educator’s Extraordinary Educator Conference. It was a wonderful experience where I got to meet some of my educational heroes like Rick Wormeli and Dave Burgess in person.
The conference experience was like many others, you feel such a rush of excitement when your opinions are validated and thinking challenged. You want to run, no sprint back to your classroom and conquer the world! You have ignited the fire, and rediscovered your passion for teaching.
The cool thing was that I had a colleague and administrator along for the ride to share my passion with. We bounced ideas off each other as we travelled to and from the conference each day. We shared perspective not only from the classroom view, but from an administrative one as well. We did something fantastic…
(I know you want to know what we did, but I am learning to use some presentational hooks to keep you in anticipation!)
In a session with Dave Burgess, he talked about three ways we find passion as educators.
1. Passion within our content areas – what things can’t you wait to teach in your curriculum?
2. Passion within our profession, but outside our content area – why did you become a teacher?
3. Passion outside our profession – wait, what? there is life besides teaching?
Later that day, we were reflecting on our experiences and my assistant principal tells me that in her role it is difficult to be a jack of all trades, and that she had, up until now, been passionate about what I was doing in my classroom because I was passionate about it. She would come into my classes and feel the excitement through me and my students. I know she trusts me and I am eternally grateful that she encourages me to take risks and try new things in my classroom (she also reminds me to slow down sometimes and smell the roses!). But after going to this conference, she was able to learn more about why I am so passionate about what I do and the decisions I make. Then the fantastic thing happened…
(Are you ready for it???)
The three of us ignited our passion together. We had a brainstorming session on the way home our last day. A social studies teacher, a Spanish teacher, and an assistant principal giving ideas, making them better, helping each other. We used our passions from our areas, our reasons for being in the education business, and our interests outside school. It was a fantastic collaborative learning experience. One of those unforgettable times when we laughed, figured out some cool stuff, and were inspired by each other all at the same time. We didn’t want the conversation to end so the discussion will go on via technology as the summer continues. Our kids are in for quite an experience this school year.
We all found passion that day…how do you find yours?