Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pirate Passion

Through the many suggestions of my PLN, I have decided to read the book, "Teach Like a Pirate". I have read the first chapter and so far it is very engaging. However, it is a different perspective to read the book through the lens of a state specialist and not a classroom teacher. It is a little difficult to use that lens but I still consider myself a teacher just with a different role. In chapter 1 the author, David Burgess, discusses passion. He suggested answering three questions about passion before reading any further. Here are my answers to the questions:

Content Passion: Within your subject matter, what are you passionate about teaching?

As a professional learning specialist at the state-level, I work with adults and I do not have a curriculum or a standard timeline for what I have to accomplish. I am given tasks and a timeline for each and I am expected to complete each task. Do not get me wrong, this basic analysis of what I do, becomes so much more in depth with each task I need to complete.I enjoy my job very much.The subject matter that I am most passionate about teaching is professional learning designs, models, and strategies. I love learning about how schools are teaching teachers and in turn I love providing models to other teachers for how they can improve professional learning. I love seeing how the Learning Forward Standards of professional learning work together to improve educator effectiveness and in turn improve student growth.

Professional Passion: Within your profession, but no specific to your subject matter, what are you passionate about?

In my profession but specific to professional learning, I am passionate about inspiring educators, collaborating, and connecting. When I was in the classroom, my favorite year of teaching was when I taught 5th grade. As a class, we had a culture and way of doing things that was unmatched. The students worked together and trusted me. I in turn trusted them. I was inspired by them and I think they enjoy me as their teacher. I often reflect on that year as a teacher and try to think what I did different that made that group so special. I do not have the answer of why/how that classroom was so "magical" but I continue to chase that feeling in my current position. I  love the idea of walking into my place of work and knowing that something great is going to happen today because of the people I work with and for. I love going to other schools around the state to learn how teachers are inspiring students then in turn, sharing those strategies with other teachers. I enjoy discussion around the best practices in education, especially if they challenge my set schema. I love learning about new research and application. I wish I could read three things at one time and absorb them all. 

Personal Passion: Completely outside of your profession, what are you passionate about?

Complete outside of my profession, I am completely and wholly passionate about my family. I have two incredible daughters and a selfless husband. If I could spend every moment with them and travel around the world my life would be complete. My daughters are 4 and 6, their views of the world and opinions tickle my heart. They help me see things in a different light and they are so eager to learn. Being a mother is an incredible experience and one I wish I could do full time. I also mentioned traveling. I have been to several counties and although it can be scary being in a different culture, it is so exciting to learn. Travel is wonderful and something I wish I could do more. Finally, I think I can call my obsession with sci-fi, fantasy, and cos-play a certain type of passion. Ever since high school, I have loved Sailor Moon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and witches. These topics have always interested me and only grew with me as an adult. I read Harry Potter, watch Vampire Dairies, lurked around Baltimore Comic Con (never actually gotten tickets), X-Men, Marvel, Vampire Academy... you probably get the idea. It is like going to a different world when I engage in these topics.

This exercise was truly reflective and I enjoyed it very much. It also was a positive writing experience. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book. 

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