Passion drives learning….
I started teaching in 1986 as an 8th grader. I worked with special needs students in a gymnastics setting. I cried leading up to that first day as I was scared and nervous but my parents insisted I would be fine. I let my emotions decide before I tried, however, in retrospect they drove me to try something new. After the first class, I knew what I was meant to do…. to motivate and teach…no matter what ability level they are starting at. I felt exhilarated when I was done teaching those students. It was at that moment I knew I would follow in my parents footsteps as an educator in Health and PE.
In 1991 I headed to college as an HPE major. Full transparency…I loved what I was doing but I did not put forth 100% effort 100% of the time. It was not until my final year, it really hit home and I knew it was my time to make a difference in the lives of children. I thought – if my expectation is 100% effort/participation 100% of the time from my students, why would I not expect the same for myself.
In 1996, I began my teaching career. Thank goodness I “moved my cheese” or maybe I would still be teaching the food pyramid? As silly as that sounds, we still have folks that do. Always striving to try new things and not get complacent in what I am teaching is what keeps my love of learning alive. By being complacent, my passion would fizzle. It would be “just a job”.
This past decade has pushed me to grow more than ever. My passion for Health Education accelerated when given the opportunity to transition our curriculum to Skills Based. Our students need us to provide skills necessary to function as adults in society. They have the means to find the content, if we teach them how to navigate efficiently and effectively. Lets use our short time with them to practice skills to help them get there.
Learning and growing takes time and effort like any profession or skill. It is being disciplined to make progress, whether fast or slow, to show growth in yourself as a teacher. Working within your professional learning community as a team should be of top priority. Without the support of my colleagues and our collaborative efforts, I would not be even close to the teacher I am today. The bottom line for me is – always to be openminded. I have been able to look at things from all angles and then figure out what is best way to deliver the content and skills to the students. Like I tell my students, everyBODY is different. EveryBODY learns different as well. EveryBODY should be given that opportunity no matter where they come from or who they are. A quote from Brian Kight that I strive for each day…. “Discipline is the shortcut. Do the work”.
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