Every teacher must find or rediscover their genuine excitement for educating and nurturing children. In fact, a teacher’s personal and professional sense of passion, pleasure, and purpose is just as vital for their students as it is for themselves.
Everyone can readily agree that academic learning is a crucial goal of teaching, but educators, parents, and the public are now also embracing the importance of social and emotional learning. Yet we all must go one step further—or deeper—and equally accept the profound impact of soulful learning.
Meaning is Magnetic! Passion is Powerful!
Charisma is Contagious!
If you want to engage your students, you yourself must be engaged. Your students will be entranced by and feed off of your sincere passions.
Your specific interests may never become your students’ personal passions, but this is not the teacher’s main objective. More importantly, by teaching with enthusiasm and authenticity, you will bestow upon your students three vital life lessons:
A passionate, purpose-driven life is the only life worth leading.
When a person chooses a path of curiosity, self-expression, and resonance, awesome opportunities arise, dazzling doors open, and unexpected adventures await.
One’s passions should be unabashedly and generously shared because what each individual has to offer the world is a glorious gift that benefits, as well as inspires, others.
If you want to maintain a rewarding career in education that lasts thirty years or more, you must be deeply invested in what happens in your classroom. Please abundantly give the gifts of imagination, awe, and aspiration to your students because it is within these avenues of exploration that children dare to dream, invest fully, and achieve their potential.
The following questions will assist you in reinvigorating your teaching passion so that joy, fulfillment, creativity, and meaning become the nourishing foundations of your day.
1. What is it about the subject/s I teach that connects with my core values and beliefs?
2. What aspects of my curriculum are particularly exciting and interesting to me?
3. What beauty, artistry, wisdom, or wonder am I compelled to impart to my students?
4. Why have I chosen to devote my professional life to this field of study? What longing does it fulfill in me?
5. What is sustaining and revitalizing about what I teach and about teaching itself?
6. Am I ever learning something new that is useful, important, and intriguing, both to me as a professional and to me as a person?
7. What qualities do I personally bring to the table that make my particular instruction uniquely valuable to those I teach?
You must come up with some compelling answers to these questions because, if not, you are probably going through the motions and squandering valuable opportunities to inspire both yourself and your students. If you yourself cannot articulate why what you teach in general, as well as why each specific lesson matters—both to you personally and to your students—then how are you expecting to sustain your students’ interests, let alone your own?
I will leave you with my fifteen-second commercial to recruit new teachers to the profession:
Teaching is your chance to live and share your deepest passion each day—and to make a career out of doing what you love while impacting young lives.
Ask yourself: What subject speaks to my soul?
Now, how can you transform that calling to into a call to action and an inspiration to others?
What questions would you add to my list of seven that would reignite the passion in teachers who are in need of some re-inspiration? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.
This article is adapted from chapter 9: Engendering Fascination in The Firm, Fair, Fascinating Facilitator by Robert Ward and published by Rowman and Littlefield. This comprehensive approach to teaching focuses on capturing students’ hearts, hopes, minds, and manners, equally and often at the same time. The wide variety of strategies offered in this book work together to win kids over and to make school a place of willingness, wisdom, wonder, and worth.