My wish for educators in the upcoming school year: Reclaim your passion.
As educators we spend so much time planning, organizing, meeting, and aligning. We spend hours in professional development learning about new techniques and best practices. We structure our classroom, build lesson plans, peruse resources, decorate bulletin boards, collaborate with colleagues, prepare assessments, and think endlessly about how to best engage students. We focus on the big picture and hone in on the small details. I can’t help but wonder — as we get caught up in the doing — how often do we step back and reflect on why we entered education in the first place?
Choosing to join the education field is typically driven by a passion: Passion to develop students as life-long learners. Passion to challenge status-quo and shift educational paradigms. Passion to impact the lives of young learners and have them impact you as an adult learner. Passion to never settle for “good enough” and instead challenge through inquiry. Passion to make a difference and to believe that the work you are doing has a lasting impact.
What was your drive? What is your passion for education? Do you even remember? Or, has it become lost in the nitty-gritty? In the “to-dos” and standards based assessments? In the budget cuts and difficult parents? In the long hours and low pay?
What would happen if, when planning, organizing, and polishing the classroom you carved out honest time to reflect on your choice to join education field? What if you reconnected to your passion for _________________ that caused you to become a teacher, counselor, administrator? What if you wrote down your original hopes and dreams when you thought of becoming an educator and re-read that statement every day?
I believe that when we reclaim our passion and remember the heady goals we started on this journey with, then we will be better educators. By tapping into our passion we will teach more passionately, connect with students more passionately, build an effective school community more passionately. Reconnecting to our educational passion will not only refresh and recharge us but will also be noticeable to others around us. Perhaps, our renewed sense of drive and purpose might even inspire students and co-workers to be a little better, try a little harder, or be a little more passionate about their education.
So go ahead. Reclaim your passion.