Of course, I’m referring to Sir Ken Robinson’s book The Element which I’m not going to summarise here because I’ve only just been dipping in and out, chewing bits and gazing out, pondering. What I have taken out with joy, the joy that comes from connecting your life context with the book’s message, is that you have to find your passion. You. You have to find your passion. Yes, your students have to find their passion in order for true learning to happen, but – and now I’m taking over here, so you’re hearing my own rave, not Ken’s – YOU, the teacher, must put yourself before the student, and find YOUR passion. Because if you will, you’ll take off and become a better teacher, and if you don’t, you may never know the teacher you could have been.
For me, finding your passion is synonymous with finding your inner strength. We’re all different, you knew that, I didn’t have to tell you, obviously. When we find what we’re passionate about, and we connect it to what we do and how we do it, then we’ve found an eternal spring. We don’t force things, we don’t find it difficult, we don’t find it boring. We need to trust ourselves.
I’ve had the privilege of working with teachers who have done just that. They love teaching – which doesn’t mean they’re forever stuck in an evangelistic fervour, no, they have their days – and they love the kids they’re teaching (moments, again). They’ve found their passion, and it’s in connecting with students and making a difference in their lives. Yes, for the English teacher, it’s about the grammar at times, the punctuation, the ability to write a coherent introductory paragraph, but actually, no, it’s about the relationship with the students, a relationship that builds trust, admits to liking the student, develops confidence, unleashes the often hidden talent that is unique to that student.
And I just want to say one more thing – as a teacher you can’ t do any of that unless you’re in touch with your own passion. You need to unlock yourself before you try unlocking anyone else. If you’re bored, you’ll burn out. It’s yourself you need to reignite. You start burning, you’ll heat up those around you.
I apologize for my fervent bombast. I blame Ken Robinson for getting me fired up. Read the book: The element. How finding your passion changes everything.
Or watch this video where Sir Ken Robinson talks about aspects of his book