I am shamelessly borrowing Kendrick Vinar’s message and applying it to a passion for teaching. The big question is: What drains your teaching battery? Around here, next Monday is the grand opening! Best to explore these issues BEFORE the school year starts, right?
Kendrick gave six examples of Passion Drains:
- Unaligned priorities. Ask yourself, “How am I actually spending my time?” (Not “How do I wish I were spending my time?”) You might think that you are devoted to parent-teacher relationships, but how much time do you spend talking to parents? Or perhaps lifelong learning is high on your written list, but do you really devote time for reading and collaborating professionally?
- Unbalanced schedule. I can provide the perfect example of this, being the only teacher with 40+ years experience who worked at school every weekend. Uh-oh.
- Unresolved conflict. This is an emotional drain which may lead to darting into closets to avoid the principal or refusing to make eye contact with another teacher. For my part, I was actually oblivious to the anger I had stirred up in a colleague. Yikes.
- Unforgiven sin. OK, you don’t have to be a Christian to understand that those lies or mean-spirited words can’t truly be ignored or swept under the carpet. They will come back to bite you unless you make things clean.
- Undernourished soul. Ever feel like you are running on empty deep inside? Our spirits need nutrition, just as our bodies do.
- Unclear purpose. It’s natural to feel some discomfort when vacations end, but do you also feel a genuine excitement about getting to know your new students and families? Are you excited about all the fun that is to come? Is it a thrill to inspire others to learn? Don’t stay in teaching if there’s no passion in your heart.
You owe it to yourself and your students to blaze with the joy of teaching.