A few years ago I sat at a circle discussion about education quality.
Many parents commented that they wanted teachers to inspire their children.
Inspire--an awesome word and a mighty challenge.
Do you inspire? Do you teach? Where do the two actions intersect and what is the just right ratio of one to the other.
Research shows us that learners who are engaged learn with strength. How does inspiration lead to engagement?
Who inspires you as a learner? How does that lead to engagement and learning?
Professionally I'm inspired when I see the results of really great teaching such as a stellar performance, caring conflict resolution, a lively math discussion or a literary exchange. When I see that fine work, I am inspired to ask questions, learn more and replicate.
I am also inspired when I see a deficit, an area that needs shoring up to teach children better. I love to work closely with other committed professionals to problem solve and grow our work.
I am inspired when children are engaged in creative endeavor. I enjoy responding to their excitement and wonder while helping them achieve the learning goals.
Those who have wonderful skills and abilities that I don't have inspire me and teach me too.
As educators since we have so little time with each class, it seems to me that our aim should be to engage, inspire and educate. A little inspiration now and then directs my energy toward a job well done too.