Thursday, May 29, 2014

Simon Sinek: Love Your Work

Simon Sinek talks about the special teachers in our lives who have believed in us and made a difference to who we are today - especially if those teachers taught us to be confident and I would add, to be passionate about what we do, to know our own value.

"...the power of helping others realise their own strengths...their own value..."  Simon Sinek.

When we choose a career path, what are the things that impact on that choice?  Do we choose a particular career because it is what our parents want?  Are we influenced by our peers?  Do we choose based on the opportunities it offers for career pathways or advancement?  Or, do we choose that career because it is our passion?  Are we happy and fulfilled by that job / career?

There is always a lot of pressure on teachers and it seems to come from so many different directions.  So how do we hold onto that passion that we had?  How do we hold onto the reasons why we went into teaching?

For me, my reasons have changed somewhat.  I began studying extramurally for a degree in psychology way back in 1991.  I knew I wanted to focus on becoming a child psychologist and to eventually go on to gaining my PhD in this area.  I was extremely focused on this goal. did I end up changing and staying in education for over 15 years????

The answer is reasonably simple in many ways.  I knew that I would have greater credibility as a Child Psychologist if I also had experience in education so I applied for Teachers' College and gained entry to study in 1996.  I thought I could complete my 2 years certification and then go back and complete my psychology degree.  That was the plan - pure and simple, well relatively simple in between mountains of learning and assignments, practicums and juggling a family!

I did not expect what came next at all.  From the first two-week 'posting' or practicum I was hooked and it only continued from there.  I had found my passion.  I loved being around the students - it didn't matter what age group, school, etc.  I loved their enthusiasm for life and learning, loved the challenge of being able to adapt my own teaching and learning to meet their needs.

This passion has not changed over the past 15 years.  I am still just as passionate and enthusiastic although this is sometimes tempered with the demands of the curriculum, parents, changes in assessment and changes in society, and the crazily long hours we work - because we love it and want the best for our students and for ourselves, but I still would not change this life for the world.  It is a fulfilling career.

The passion I have for learning and teaching comes from connecting with students, from seeing the 'lightbulb' moments but, most importantly, it comes from helping them to become confident learners and confident human beings who believe in themselves.

"The feeling of fulfillment comes from doing something for another." - Simon Sinek

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