My summer professional development (PD) reading continues, and I have been reflecting on my learning from my latest read: “Teach Like A Pirate” (Burgess, 2012). Acronyms have become very prolific, and of course, PIRATE itself has been turned into an acronym in this book. You will have to read the book to learn more about that on your own.
As I reflect upon my content passion, I consider what I do when left to my own devices, rather than devices of the electronic variety: I go outside and look at nature; especially trees, plants, and their relationship to geographic features. A recent visit to a beloved park, Nicholls Oval, left me gravely concerned for the stately old growth white ash located there. I discussed this in a recent blog post. I also like to go running outside, likening my outdoor running in adulthood to a grown-up version of childhood outdoor play time. This trend towards the indoors and electronics is worrisome, but that’s a story for another day.
My professional passion is a lot more difficult to pin down. I have an ability to create new and unique activities that simply can’t be copied or memorized by students. My colleagues have said, “Oh, you’re more creative than I am,” or “How did you have time to think of and implement that?” My personal versions of “six words” (Burgess, 2012). My students provide me with feedback such as, “I did like the format. My only concern was that I was very tired and it required me to put more effort.” At 19 years old and close to graduation, these types of comments serve to remind me that they are still nearly children in adult-sized bodies.
My personal passion is the trickiest of all. I have always loved nature, and especially plants. In my second year of university I had 35 house plants, and this was pivotal in my decision to focus on Plant Sciences and Botany when I was required to specialize my course choices. I have enjoyed creating activities that require students to actively engage for all the years I have taught; I am a constructivist at heart. A cursory glance suggests that I don’t have a personal passion outside of the other two categories of passion. Can learning be my personal passion? The challenge is to use this passion to ignite the passion of lifelong learning in others. I wasn’t as good at this as I would have liked during the previous school year. My reflection continues.
Burgess, D. (2012). Teach Like A Pirate: Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.: San Diego.