At my school, we were given the book, Awaken the Learner by Darrell Scott and Robert Marzono. In Chapter 1, the idea is presented of determining your why. It states, “Unless a person fully understands why s/he is motivated to act and think in various circumstances and relationships, s/he won’t find satisfaction or fulfillment in life.” This got me thinking about my why. Why am I in education? Why do I stay in the classroom? Why do I get up every morning and drive 45 minutes to work? Why? Why? Why?
As a part of the district teacher of the year application, I had to write my philosophy of education, which I have not done since I first applied for my position 8 years ago, when I was still naive and idealistic. Note: I still am a bit naive and idealistic, but is there anything wrong with that? Again, I was realizing that I had to determine my why. Initially, it was hard for me to articulate it because I know I love my job, but WHY???
I ended up re-watching one of my favorite YouTube videos by Aaron Sams, one of the pioneers of flipped learning and it hit me. I get up every morning to make a positive difference in kids life. To teach them science and not only the standards, but scientific inquiry and the passion I have for science. To look at the world around them, think critically, ask questions, and research answers. To prepare my students for the real-world and to be positive contributors to our society. No matter what career field they enter in, I want to impact their lives.
Now, I don’t know if this idea is fresh in my mind because we are reading this book or because it’s a common theme in education right now, but I am currently at CUE 2015 and I find that I keep hearing people (not necessarily directly or in these exact words) discussing the idea of What’s your Why?
Jennie Magiera, our keynote speaker yesterday definitely hit upon this. She asked the following and made us ask/think about the following questions:
- Is what you are doing better for the students?
- Is it qualitatively changing the experience for our students in a better way?
- How can we get better at inspiring our students?
- What are you having your students create today?
Sugata Mitra, our keynote today, stated, “It’s not about making learning happen, it’s about letting it happen.” This builds right into my philosophy. Letting learning happen drives inquiry and engagement, which hopefully motivates them for a successful future.