Day 7: Inspiration

Who was or is your most inspirational colleague, and why? Oh another tough one. These prompts that ask me to choose just one—the “most”—is problematic for me but in a good way. They make me thankful for the life I’ve lived so far. I’m thrilled to say I’ve been surrounded by inspirational colleagues my entire teaching career, and even during my undergraduate college coursework. How can I choose just one? I’m surrounded by teachers, and I believe every teacher should inspire. Then as I think on this more, I’m coming to believe every good teacher can find inspiration in just about anything. Look at how many are on Pinterest, pinning hundreds of ideas.

According to the dictionary on my MacBook, “inspiration” is defined as, “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.” My first blog post for this challenge was “Be Creative!”   I glance over at my bookshelf and see the book Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach. 

One resource for my inspiration.

One resource for my inspiration.

I give myself a break from lesson planning and check Facebook only to find fellow teachers posting articles, contests, photos, cartoons, memes. I should know better. Taking a break from lesson planning and browsing Facebook just inspires me more and makes me want to rewrite my plans.

And then there are the videos. Kid President always inspires me. How could he not? Dancing and smiling and making his point. I can’t forget Ted Talks or Upworthy either. What about all the cool videos showing science experiments? They inspire me to earn my science certification! (I haven’t followed through on this one…yet.)

As I stop myself and truly try to determine which colleague was the most inspirational, my thoughts go back to day 4: what do I love the most about teaching. I said I couldn’t chose just one aspect of teaching. It’s the same with my colleagues. Many have inspired me. Some happened to give me an idea at just the right moment. Others pushed me to take a risk and try something different, but as I wrote earlier, teachers can find inspiration just about anywhere. My inspiration comes from within. It comes from being able to look at the world around me and accept the challenge to do something creative. When I lose this ability, I know it will be time to step away from my classroom.