Maintaining passion for teaching

How do we maintain our passion for teaching in the face of so much change?

            My passion for teaching was not evident to me when I graduated in 2001. I was certain I did not want to teach then. I followed a dream to one day have my own business. After 5 years of business and training employees I realized my passion was not in the food industry but in the teaching others a skill. I loved working with new employees that wanted to learn. Since then I find my self in similar setting. I notice that my passion for teaching is ignited when I have students that genuinely want to learn and participate in their own learning.

 

            I liked what the author had to say about the fact that we are not passionate about all subjects and that we can use our other passions in place.  I like to maintain my passion for planning by going to professional development conferences. I get many new ideas as well as twists on old ideas that have been beneficial.  I also have found passion in conversations with other teachers and administration. I am a very competitive person so when I am struggling with something I look for solutions and the conversations with other teachers fuels that passion for trying new approaches.

Another way I maintain my passion I will be honest is my breaks. I love that I can take some time from my job and then come back rejuvenated.

            There is always change in every field of work. I try to not be bothered by it as much as I can because it is going to happen. Complaining or worrying about change is not going to stop it so I try to go with it and work with it or around it depending on the situation. Each year it seems there is a new methods or a new focus. This year for us there is new administration.  In the past two years we finished different trainings on how to meet the needs of all students. Certain curriculum doesn’t allow for this differentiation and we have been told to use this with fidelity to get better data. Some feel that it is a step backward but no matter that is not my decision and I have to find a way to teach with it. This has become a bit of a personal challenge. I have used my passion for competition to implement the program as prescribed and still reach the needs of my students. I am guessing next year there will be a different focus and that will be the next challenge.

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4 thoughts on “Maintaining passion for teaching

  1. Summer break is always rejuvenating for me. It always helps me get back in touch with me and my family. Well, not really in touch, but a deeper connection. I think it’s important to still do things that I enjoy and the needs of my family come before my teaching career, but summer gives me more freedom to spend more time with my family and personal passions. I took summer grad classes last summer and was surprised to feel bitter about the amount of time I had to spend with my family and working on my artwork. Instead of feeling rejuvenated at the end of this last summer, I felt crunched to get excited about this school year. I spent the week before going back (that was my only “free time” all summer) trying to rejuvenate my brain. One thing I did was use Pinterest to gather some fun, new ideas to springboard the year off. I am so glad I focused on trying to recoup my passion. My students are definitely worth it!

  2. I agree to teach people who want to learn is fun. I also enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to motivate students who are resistant to learn and be at school. I like to go to professional training and learn new techniques and programs. I am currently going to Step UP to Writing and CORE Vocabulary training this month. I hope the training gives my more ways to improve my students writing without taking an enormous amount of time.

  3. Andrea

    I recognized myself when you stated you are a competitive person. I had never thought how my competitive spirit helps drive my passion but it truly does. As well, because of that drive, the breaks from students and work are so necessary and helpful so as not to burn out. It’s hard to turn off that competitiveness!
    I too found it interesting the idea of gaining passion from other places. Definitely something I had never thought of before and it makes sense. Some days it’s just hard to get excited about inequalities but I cannot let me students see that. They already have a preconceived notion about the topic if they identify my lack of enthusiasm toward it, we are all doomed.

  4. I believe we are competitive in one way or another. I use to be a very competitive person but now I am a more passionate person. I take these programs and/or curriculums that we are required to use and find at least one positive aspect about it. In my short career I have had to teach any different subjects even though I am a science teacher. I just have a passion for my student and what they learn.
    I love summer breaks and use them to rejuvenate as well. For the past two summers I have been in college and my children/family didn’t like all the time I spent at ‘school’ but we made the best of it anyways. During the summer I find more ideas and projects for my students.
    Also I love that my school is based on quarters. Each quarter my classes change, some people call that crazy but I love it. Currently I am teaching 4th R health, North Slope Science, Skin Sewing, Cooking and Art. My passion for each of these subject is different and the students react different to each class, but I am passionate about each class and that is what matters. On Oct 14th I will be teaching a new set of classes. I think they are but not sure Biology, Earth Science, Alaska Studies, Subsistence Art and Cooking.

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