Create or Disintegrate
Did you ever ask yourself what keeps a teacher fresh over the years? Do you notice some colleagues that still rock it out 20 or 30 years into a teaching career? I find it so interesting to reflect over my own 30+ years in the classroom and follow the paths of friends/colleagues over the years.
My informal observations and reflection have classified educators into three general categories:
At times I have seen some movement but most often, the first label usually defines a career. So what is the determining factor? What habits does the passionate person possess? I have found that they are always looking for ways to grow, create new experiences, or do things better than they have ever been done. Growing professionally is addictive and once the habit is engrained, the passionate teacher just seems to have an unending well to tap into. This progress is then woven into pride and that pride brings a reputation of excellence. Let's face it, you either create or disintegrate, one never remains the same.
One other indicator to share, especially with student teachers when asked what is the difference between professional and passionate? A professional leaves work at school but if you are passionate, it will follow you everywhere. A passionate person finds their thoughts wandering back into the classroom on the ride to and from work. In addition, they also find the same when trying to go to sleep in the evening.