Passion: an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.
It seems that lately the word ‘passion’ keeps coming up, especially in the world of education. I look all around me and see teachers who clearly have no passion for what they are doing – whether they had it at one point or another I am not sure, but definitely not at the moment. I also find teachers who are filled with passion for a number of different areas. I’ve recently entered the world of Twitter, and on it are so many educators who are passionate about using technology in education, who are passionate about making global connections, who are passionate about literacy and so on. It’s overwhelming how they pour their time and energy into developing and sharing these passions with others. While I enjoy these things and find them quite interesting, I know in the back of my head that these are some of my tools, but they are not my ‘passion’. It’s caused me to begin to reflect and question, “What am I passionate about?”
I love teaching. It’s always been important to me to love what I do, and since I am still teaching after ten years I think it’s a good indicator that I must love it. But I’ve begun to reflect back on why I began teaching – what started my journey in the first place – in order to find my ‘passion’ in education. And in my reflections I’ve rediscovered what it is I love….developing character/values in children. To see them become human beings who care about and help others, who think about their actions and consequences, who can problem solve and resolve conflicts, maintain integrity, persevere through hardships and challenges, set goals and find satisfaction in achieving them and to use their own passions to impact the world in a positive way.
In rediscovering my passion, it’s made me reflect on the purpose with which I am living it out. I love the global perspective that the children in the international schools I have been in are able to gain. Learning about World War 2 with fourth graders from all major countries involved – so powerful. Children building relationships with children from other (very different) cultures – forever impacting. Discussing what the word ‘thankful’ means and what that looks like with a group of six year olds – priceless. I am excited about working within the PYP progam next year mostly because it incorporates many of these values within it. At times, I do find I get so caught up in my ‘tools’ that I lose track of my passion and purpose, but every time I rediscover it, I am filled with energy and enthusiasm to continue to purposefully live out my passion in the everyday moments in and out of the classroom.