This is almost my third week back to school. For some reason, the adjustment from break to school has taken a toll on me this year. Staying positive is difficult for me, but I owe it to myself and my students.
Over break, I took the opportunity to read Steve Jobs’s biography. As I read, I began to think about the New Year and how I can become a better and more effective teacher. It is important that I stay passionate about the subject area I teach, stay hungry for new knowledge in my field, and stay innovative with the newest tools and ideas for reaching my students in the classroom. Continue reading for three lessons on doing this from Steve Jobs.
After coming back from break, it has been difficult getting back into the swing of things. I often forget how much my attitude and actions in the classroom influence student attitudes and actions. Continuing to be passionate about what you teach will improve student morale. Being passionate about what you do changes the overall attitude in the classroom. Never settle for just enough: attempt to go above and beyond.
I have found that iTunes U and various modules on Connexions have motivated me to stay passionate about the subject area I teach. Also, changing the way I teach a particular unit sparked a new passion within me. Would both you and your students say that you are passionate about teaching?
I attempt to implement some new technology into my classroom every year. This year I was unable to attend my usual technology conference, but there are many other opportunities to learn about the newest, most innovative tools for the classroom. For instance, most conferences host a Web site that gives access to handouts and presentations from the conference. In addition to visiting various conference sites, I also visit the following three technology Web sites:
TechCrunch focuses on the latest technology news. It doesn’t specifically follow technology in education, but it provides great information and reviews on new products that I consider for classroom use.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) site focuses on advocacy for technology education. Their Web site provides various professional development opportunities through Webinars and other materials.
Apple Education focuses primarily on how Apple’s products enhance learning in the classroom. Some of the lesson ideas can be inspiring and usable even without their products.
I am constantly searching for the things that energize and motivate me as a teacher, and for additional opportunities to grow. I am fortunate to be able to attend a writers’ conference in early March and the Illinois Reading Council Conference in late March. My hope is that these conferences will give me ideas to better teach and reach my students. Search for and find a conference that fuels your passion!
Another thing I have found to encourage me, or create a sense of hunger, is reading about other teachers’ successes online or in books. Scholastic has a variety of professional development materials at The Teacher Store. I often think of my students as I read and note what I think will work in my classroom.
How do you stay passionate, innovative, and hungry in your classroom?