“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” – John Maxwell
We are just about to start a new school year this Monday. I am energized, motivated, and excited about all of the possibilities our team will have together this year to learn, teach, lead, connect, engage and reflect! We hosted our first “Kick off” event for all employees on Wednesday which was a huge success. We had opportunities to see old friends, make new connections and participate in healthy activities. We had opportunities to think, to laugh and to come together as a community. I loved every minute of it and have received incredible feedback from our staff.
As a participant in the event, I also had the unique pleasure of seeing my husband, Dave Burgess, deliver the keynote speech. You would think that as his wife this would not be new to me… but it was. He has never stood up in our living room and delivered his keynote, and I don’t follow him on his travels as he delivers it in other districts – so it was a first for me. While there are many things he said that caused me to stop and think, there is one that really stood out for me… it was when he asked us “What are you passionate about?” He separated passion into three categories, and while all important, the one that has caused the most reflection for me was “Category Two” or my “Professional Passion”. For the last few days I have been asking myself – what is it about my profession that I am passionate about? What was it that got me into the business of education, and why is it that I would not want any other career than to be an educator?
“If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.” – T. Alan Armstrong
So – here are my thoughts…
I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of students.
- I believe that a quality education is the great equalizer, and I am passionate about making sure every child receives an amazing education every minute of every day they are in school.
- I am passionate about eliminating the “achievement gap”.
- I believe every child, regardless of their background and what they do and don’t bring with them into school, has an amazing desire to learn and to be exceptional, and I believe WE have the knowledge and expertise to help them realize they are exceptional.
- I am passionate about providing every child with rich learning opportunities that prepare them to compete with any other child, anywhere, anytime in any subject area.
- I believe we have the power, the ability, and the obligation to make sure every child leaves us fully prepared to excel in the next phase of their educational experience.
- I am passionate about making sure every child thinks of themselves as smart.
- I am passionate about seeing things in children that they don’t yet see in themselves and about nurturing and encouraging them to share their gifts and their talents with the world.
I am also passionate about working with adult learners, teachers and leaders.
- I believe all of us have an amazing capacity to have an incredible influence on the lives of children, and I am passionate about developing a sense of collective efficacy. I want to make a difference – not excuses.
- I am passionate about creating a culture among the adults that includes a belief that we in fact do have the power and the ability to help our students accomplish amazing things – even the students who others may have written off!
- I am passionate in my belief that it’s not programs that teach kids… it’s teachers. An OUTSTANDING teacher who has nothing but crayons, a chalkboard, and blank pieces of paper in the classroom wins hands down, any day of the week over the best “program”.
- I am passionate about collaboration. Collectively we are stronger and better than we are individually; we need to hear each others’ voices and push each other to learn, to take risks, and to be even better than we thought we could be.
- I am passionate about outside the box thinking, innovation and creative problem solving.
- I believe being a part of a team of people coming around the table brainstorming unique ways to tackle a challenge (particularly when it comes to student learning) is one of the best ways to spend my time.
- I am passionate about coaching and engaging in rich dialogue around teaching and learning that ultimately has an impact on student learning.
I know there is more, but this is what I have come up with so far!
I invite all of you to join me in reflecting on your passions! What is it that you are passionate about? How do you incorporate your passion into your district, your school, your classroom or your work? I look forward to hearing what YOU are passionate about and how you incorporate that passion into your work!
On a side note – I shared this reflection (worded a little bit differently) with all of our staff and invited them to share their passions on our discussion board. I am looking forward to what they have to say.