Friday, May 30, 2014

What Drives You?

This morning started off like every other school day. I am at the gym by 5, home by 6 to enjoy a quick cup of coffee before getting my kids up to start our morning routine. During my coffee time, I enjoy checking out my Twitter feed to read about the great ideas that are shared by my Professional Learning Network. As many of you know, there is one post that you read every once in a while that really sticks with you. Really makes you think. The topic bounces around in your head all day, to the point that you can not shake it out of your head...

That is exactly what happened to me when I read this post by Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) entitled: What Drives You? Mr. Sheninger does an excellent job of providing his readers with several excellent points about what "Drives Him" to do what he does everyday. That made me think: What Drives Me?

I have had this question bouncing around in my head all day. Why did I choose this profession? Why do I do what I do everyday? Why do I love coming to school everyday? It boils down to this: I enjoy helping people improve. As a teacher, I love working with my students to help them get past sticking points in their learning that allows them to understand things they previously struggled with. I love helping students learn things they were convinced they could never do.

In addition, I love helping them in nonacademic areas as well. We have all had the students that are just excellent students. There are very few (if any) areas academically they can do better. Instead, I may try to help them overcome their fear of public speaking, getting better organized, learning how to take a joke or something as simple as just looking someone in the eye when speaking to someone.

Do not get me wrong. I know I do not have all the answers. Many times, my idea of helping someone is by pointing them in the direction of the person who knows more than me. That someone could be another teacher, a colleague or even another student. By doing that, I am hopeful that person will be able to give them the feedback they need to progress past their sticking point.

I am hoping to continue this belief when I obtain my first administrative job. I love discussing teaching and the art of teaching with people. I enjoy discussing topics that I read about on Twitter or someone's blog. This leads me to another thing that "Drives Me": Constantly Learning. I am passionate about reading whatever I can get my hands on that pertains to our profession. I have read numerous books, magazines and blogs trying to learn as much as I can about the greatest profession on Earth. Then, I love sharing that information with my colleagues. It is my hope that by sharing what I have learned, I create an environment where everyone is open to sharing ideas and techniques. An environment, that as professional educators, we are excited to collaborate with each other. By doing this, I hope to create a constant back and forth discussion amongst my colleagues that has one purpose: to make each other better!

Thank you, Mr. Sheninger, for sharing your thoughts with us. Thank you for giving us something to think about. Thank you for providing us with questions to challenge our thinking. Thank you for "Driving Us" To Improve?

So, to keep the discussion going...

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