#DBC50Summer: Discovering my #EDUpassions

One of my favorite things about my journey in the #DBC50Summer is reading the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc books in the order of their release.  I have so loved seeing names of future authors before they were published as they contribute to the earlier books.  Another exciting piece of reading in order is drawing on the connections between the books released around the same time.  It has really given me an even deeper appreciation for the effort of every single team member within the DBC company.  The way common messages flow throughout the books is so impressive.  There is no way that kind of seamless transition is coincidental.  That is only achieved through hard work and attention to detail from every person involved – from the author to the editor and through the publisher.

Here’s what prompted this little #DBC50Summer interlude…

In reading Play Like A Pirate I realized that Quinn Rollins knew what his passions outside of education were – toys, games, and comics.  He brought those into his classroom with great success. Reflecting on passions, I also realized that I dabble in a bit of everything within edtech and “trends” in education, but was unsure of my true educational passions.  I am not even halfway finished with my career in education and I wanted to discover what my passions are, what could sustain my enthusiasm for teaching throughout the next 16 years.  As I come to book 18, The Writing on the Classroom Wall, I realize that it doesn’t feel right to read the book without having those passions nailed down.  How can I post my passions if I don’t know what they are?

Amazingly, as I read the next few books in the line up, there was a section about discovering your passion.  (I’m seriously not making this up – go get a copy for yourself and check it out!) . Within LaunchJohn Spencer & AJ Juliani discuss the use of brackets to force a decision between two topics.  Using this idea, I found my #EDUpassions!

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The process?

First, I brainstormed any and all concepts, tools, big ideas, lessons that get me excited about teaching.  I started by thinking of tech tools and their functions, like Google Apps for Education and BreakoutEDU.  Then my thinking became deeper through coaching teachers and forming authentic relationships with those I work with.  I numbered each topic 1-64.  Using a random number generator online, I was able to put two ideas “against” each other in brackets.  While considering my passion level for each, I went with my gut when choosing which topic/idea should advance in the brackets.  A couple were tied because I honestly couldn’t eliminate one or the other OR because the two topics were so similar and fit hand-in-hand.  *I did notice that I put design thinking into the brainstorm twice, but seeing as how they ended up eliminated anyhow, I just left them.

My brackets in Google Sheets are here.  This will force you to make a copy and create your own EDUpassion brackets as suggested in Launch!  Just replace my topics with yours! The teal blue cells are my original 64 educational topics that get me excited.  I narrow them down, eliminating one of the two options until I am left with only FOUR passions!

My Final Four are as follows:

  • Making a Difference in Students and Teachers through Coaching

  • Lifelong Learning through Being a Connected Educator

  • Being a Catalyst for Change

  • “Those” Stories (you know the ones… those that make you tear up when you share them with others) and Culture

I enjoy coaching teachers.  I especially love to see the impact made on the teacher, the classroom, and most importantly, the students through a successful coaching cycle.  When the teacher and I have co-planned a lesson, co-taught it, then reflect on it together, it is easy to see the growth in their students, and in the teachers themselves.

I am very clearly a lifelong learner.  I am never satisfied with the amount of knowledge I have.  I like to look up information on topics and people, just because I like having the knowledge.  I crave gaining new knowledge!  One of the best ways to continue to grow and learn in this field is to be a connected educator.  If I weren’t a connected educator, I could have committed to reading all of the DBC books this summer, started strong, then chosen not to finish because I didn’t have anyone holding me accountable.  Or I may have still continued, persevered through the weeks I have been swamped with presentations, and completed the challenge.  Who knows?  I do know that no one else would have known #DBC50Summer was happening.  Several educators are joining in on the fun and are strengthening their skill sets and will be inspired and ready for their students to return.  Thankfully, because I am a connected educator (on Twitter, specifically), I am able to not only learn and grow on my own, but connect with other educators from across the country who also hold an affinity for DBC books and have begun their own versions of #DBC50Summer.  Almost every one of the authors from the first 17 books have reached out to me with kind words after reading the #DBC50Summer post about their book.  This has blown me away and strengthened my connection with the books, and has made me adore these authors even more!  Being connected has brought both me, and my students, opportunities they likely would not have had otherwise.

Being a catalyst for change comes from working at my school, local, state, and national levels to revolutionize education.  I greatly enjoy the work I do mentoring coaches throughout my state, serving on the NCTIES board of directors, and piloting a new position which formally marries the roles of digital learning coach and media coordinator in my district. Being able to work on the national framework for Future Ready Instructional Coaches has been incredible.  This summer I have been fortunate in that I get to facilitate professional development with teachers across the western half of my state for two weeks.

Finally, you know “those” students who have “those” stories? The ones that touch your heart and will always stay with you?  They are my passion.  Their stories, as heartbreaking or heartwarming as they are, become part of my story.  We either cry together or celebrate together, and their stories of overcoming adversity inspire me to continue my educational career.  “Those” stories are the ones that sustain me, and many educators across the world!  Playing an integral role in forming the culture in my school has become more and more important to me.  I want every student and staff member to feel valued.  I want my administration to know they are appreciated (and that I would never EVER want to walk a day in their shoes).  I believe that when your school has the right culture, there is no stopping the growth in everyone who steps foot in the building.

So, my #EDUpassions… it took a while to nail them down, but I feel confident in saying that these ARE my #EDUpassions.  These are what get me out of bed in the morning.  These are what excite me and make me look forward to the new school year.

It always comes back to the students for me.  THEY are my why.  They are my number one passion.

Forming those authentic relationships is what allows me to know their stories.  It is imperative that we build relationships with our students.  I also encourage educational leaders to build relationships with their faculty.  Talk with them informally; get to know their families; get to know their stories.  Connect with them outside of school and make developing a relationship a priority.

Now that I have these #EDUpassions planted firmly in my head, and on my heart… I can get back to #DBC50Summer reading, reflecting, blogging, and implementing!  Let’s do this!

5 thoughts on “#DBC50Summer: Discovering my #EDUpassions

  1. Pingback: #DBC50Summer 18/50: The Writing on the Classroom Wall | AliciaRay.com

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  4. Pingback: #DBC50Summer 29/50: Social LEADia | AliciaRay.com

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