As a technology facilitator, I have had the privilege of working with many great teachers. While collaborating I sometimes hear frustrations that let me know they have lost some passion for teaching. Each of us has our own reasons to live in the educational world. For some it is the sheer joy of helping others, some have to share their deep love for a subject, some simply love the learning process so much they are happiest when surrounded by a learning community. Of course there are many other reasons but all include passionate words like love, joy, happiness, etc.
If you have lost that loving feeling for school you CAN bring more joy into your classroom! When passion is lost there is no doubt that it shows in your life, the classroom, and ultimately affects how well students learn. So if you are ready to seek what you are missing, it will require some reflection. Why do you teach? If the answer doesn’t come easy make and revise lists. Write down memories from your first year(s) teaching and from times when you are happiest in the classroom. Look for patterns in what delights you. By reflecting on what is missing you will find the answers to your passions.
You may remember the joy of a project or creative activity, or the exhilaration to see the spark of discovery. Analyze those moments to get at the heart of what makes it tick for you. Pinpoint lost items in your teaching life and BRING THEM BACK! This may require some strategic planning but don’t get discouraged. If time is a concern, realize that there always has to be time for joy and passion for life; this is an excellent lesson for students in itself. If the concern is that adding an activity will take away from the pacing of lessons, realize the quality of time taken to help students love a topic far outweighs anything else. You can not always measure the collateral learning and inspiration with assessments, charts, and data. Love what you do and students will learn.
You may need inspiration to get started. Maybe you find that your routine is stale. The DEN is an extraordinary PLC (professional learning community). You simply need to dive in, look for lessons, join DENchats, ask questions, attend events. You deserve to be happy.
Repeat the following out loud, “I am the spark to ignite a life of discovery!”
Final thought: Think of any famous person; each of us has the same 24 hours in every day. I would argue the only difference is the amount of passion they include in their daily routine.