Always put Passion in the Driver's Seat
Some final thoughts on The Innovator's Mindset and the IMMOOC experience as it comes to a close.
I've been thinking a lot about this quote:
"If we reduce what we do to numbers and letters to measure our achievements, then we forget that it is (or should be) passion that drives us." (p 224 George Couros, The Innovator's Mindset)
Such an important statement, because regardless of whatever else is going on in my classroom, school, district, or the education world around me, it's my passion for learning and teaching that gets me in the car and starting the ignition.
There are plenty of others in the car.
Fear is always trying to be the backseat driver. Fear tries to push me onto the road more travelled. It's back there nagging at me, reminding me that this could all go terribly wrong. What if the wifi goes down during an exciting collaborative but tech dependent lesson? What if no one else is doing the same thing and I look like an idiot? What if my Students aren't engaged or even remotely interested? I have to remind myself, that it's okay to listen to those fears and keep them in mind as I travel, but I can't let them take over or I will never get anywhere. Fear wants to my excuse for staying home, binging on Netflix...playing it safe, and where is the adventure in that?
My learning and training are the navigation system and road maps. They show me possible bumps in the road ahead and warn me about accidents and dangers to avoid. They help me apply the curriculum to new ways of teaching and learning. They remind me to scaffold and differentiate and help me prepare my students for their own journeys, as they guide me on my own.
Past experience is the seasoned traveller. It reminds me that taking a certain route didn't work well in the past, and probably won't help me on this trip either. It tells me to start early and do my research so I don't get bogged down in rush hour traffic and works well with the navigation system to help me find a detour when I hit construction.
My Professional Learning Network peeps are always up for a road trip. They are in the car talking about all kinds of different routes to take, interesting side trips, places they've been and would like to go. What I like best about having them along for the ride, is they are always encouraging, no matter what route I choose. If I make a wrong turn, they help me get back on track. If the car breaks down, or I get a flat, they help fix the problem so the car gets back on the road quickly. If I am tired or discouraged, they listen. They know the best places to stop along the road to refuel or take a break and recharge. They will be cheering me on to my destination, where ever that is, hanging out the window with their arms in the air screaming "Yee Haw!"
But passion is the driver.
It's that same passion that was ignited for me on my first day of Kindergarten when I came home and told my Mom that I was going to be a Teacher when I grew up. It was passion that gave me resilience when I was supply teaching all those years and wondering if I would ever get a permanent teaching job. It was passion that gave me the grit to get through days when things were not going well, and the strength to deal with the death of a student. My passion has pushed me to try new things in the classroom, to take courses, to share my learning, learn from others, to push myself to be a creator and not just a consumer. It is passion that builds relationships with my students and colleagues and propels learning. It is passion that leads me to new adventures and encourages new experiences.
On this wild and winding road trip of life, wether it is a professional or a personal journey, it's my passion that will never steer me wrong and will get me to my destination safely. No matter who else is in the car with me, I'm going to let her drive.