Getting Back to My Passions-Part 2

In my last post, I already mentioned my need to get back to my passions.  The next logical step seemed to be to put down in writing what my passions actually are.  I just finished reading “Lead Like a Pirate” by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf.  If any book can take you back to your passions, this one can.  An idea that stood out for me right at the beginning of the book was:

Never lose sight of who you are and what made you decide to become an educator.

This summed up exactly what had happened for me this past year…I had lost sight of why I became an educator in the first place.

One activity that I plan to do with my staff at the start up of the new school year is to ask all of them to really consider what they are passionate about and write it down with the hopes of reminding ourselves exactly why we do what we do.  I felt it was important for me to do the same, so here they are:

  1. Family and Friends– My father, who turned 83 last week, has had a huge influence on many things I am passionate about in my life.  As we are both growing older, the need to spend time with family seems to become stronger.  A year ago my youngest son graduated high school and will be officially moving out of our home this fall.  I have come to realize the need to cherish the moments, the conversations, the texts and snap chats.  One of my absolute favorite things to do is be all together sharing some good food and a few laughs. I make sure I take the time to refresh connections with friends and family and certainly enjoy the summer when I have time to do just that.
  2. Education-I am so passionate about almost everything to do with education, especially if it involves innovative thinking and taking advantage of the technology we have available to us.  For the first part of my teaching career, this was not the case. At risk of giving away my age, the internet did not even exist as it does today.   I am still so amazed and motivated by the ease of collaboration and connections.  I love the freedom my position as principal gives me to be in and out of classrooms watching learning and enjoying the people around me.  I learn many new things each week from my network of fellow educators I follow and discuss ideas with.  I enjoy sharing my love of reading with my students and listening to their interesting thoughts and ideas.  I am energized by learning new things about teaching and leadership.
  3. Animals and Nature– I am definitely a summer girl!  I love the sunshine, warm breezes, beaches, and lakes. I am writing this post outside on my deck enjoying a relaxed cup of coffee.  One might question my decision to always live on the Canadian prairies where the cold, windy winters can take your breath away.  I have learned to appreciate every moment when the weather is warm and the wonder of the unique landscape that comes in the prairies.   I am so grateful to live on an acreage and have the beauty of nature around me, often having to stop on my way to school for passing geese or deer.
  4. Reading– Anyone who knows me knows how much I read.  I never leave the house without a book  I can drive the people around me crazy talking about the things I learn from books.  My love of reading and learning goes straight back to my wonderful father who used to take the time to show me the true enjoyment I could get from a good book.  We still enjoy talking about what we are reading and sharing ideas. One of my favorite things to do is read aloud to my students.
  5. Physical Fitness– I have been active my entire life.  When I was younger I would spend as much time outdoors as possible.  I was always running, swinging, biking and playing outdoors, even in the winter.  As an adult, I have learned to manage my stress through exercise.  When I  let my fitness schedule lax, I know full well the consequences of not having as much energy and not dealing with my stress in a positive way.

What a lucky person I am!

 

 

 

Recharging the Passion

http://idealistcareers.org/

If I could use one word to describe my attitude in the reflection of the school year it would be “uninspired.”  It shocks me to say it, and I certainly do not blame it on anyone but myself.  What I realize now is I allowed myself to slip back into a place I vowed never to return and had become complacent with my actions and thoughts.

I don’t really believe that I did a horrible job or caused any permanent damage, but I know for sure I didn’t do everything I could to have a positive effect on my staff and students.  Years ago I had an experience that knocked me to my knees professionally and left my self-esteem reeling.  I took the time I needed to recover and in the end felt it was one of the most life changing and attitude adjusting experiences I have ever had.  Out of the negative came many positives.  Out of the negative came the realization that I was in control of my life and how I was going to react to my experiences.

What I have realized lookng back now on my “unispired” year is that I lost sight of my passions.  The things that really drive me through each day took a back seat and, instead, I was caught up in moving through each day in survival mode.  I allowed things around me and decisions that were out of my control to dictate my attitudes.

Writing this first blog post is only the beginning of my new journey.   This is the first of, what I hope will be many, blog posts to come. I want to refocus, learn from others, change my mindset so I can charge back to my students and staff with the attitude and drive they deserve to have from me.

So…back to my passions I go!