This time of year, in our classrooms, it is passion for vacation that drives us...and causes our students to wiggle more. For many of us, that passion is bigger than our passion for high grades. It wins!
An oft-used student cop-out is "It was boring." Technically, the students are saying, "I'm not passionate about that subject." If they're not passionate about the subject, studying it and earning good grades is harder. Possible...but harder. If your students aren't passionate about what you love, there is conflict in your classroom. Often you take it personally. At least I do. If I love something, it hurts my feelings if my students criticize or poke fun at it.
It doesn't matter if you're five or ninety-five, you need to find your passion. Passion changes over time.
I said an earthly good-bye this week to a man who wrote about passion and purpose in life. He moved from this earth at age 96. He became a first-time author at age 93. He was legally blind, deaf, and needed a walker to get around. He buried his wife of 63 years just 2 years prior to writing his book. He spent several years prior to her death as her full-time care-taker.
He was my hero.
Technically, he was my Uncle Alton. One of my earliest childhood memories is riding on his shoulders into the deep waters of the ocean. When I think of him and childhood, I remember squeals of delight.
He is the reason I became a teacher. Everyone told me I would be a good teacher. In my generation, girls were to become mothers, nurses, or teachers. I rebelled against the stereotype and majored in business. While I looked for a job just out of college, Uncle Alton helped me get a substitute credential so I could work part-time. I loved it! I went back to school for my credential and have never regretted it. Interestingly, that business background has also served me well. I approached teaching from both perspectives. It was easy for me to design SCORE with both college and career in mind. None of our learning is wasted. It takes us to the "whatever's next" in our lives.
They say our concept of God is formed initially by our fathers. My father abandoned me. My Uncle Alton became my father figure and introduced me to a God of love. Because of him, I am forever changed, forever blessed, forever willing to find a new passion when circumstances prevent me from continuing on the path I've chosen.
He is my hero.