It's the end of the calendar year and in catching up with colleagues and friends over the past week or so, I've noticed something. I've had some down time over break to consider and process my thoughts and have come to the same conclusion. My colleagues and friends inspire me, all differently, but they all do in different ways.
One friend and colleague is working on her doctorate. The hours she has logged on this is mind-boggling but you'd never know it talking to her. The subject of her dissertation is incredible. She inspires me to be passionate about teaching because for her, it's all about the kids and giving them choices. This colleague is as selfless as they come, always willing to share ideas and materials with whomever needs help. I want to be like her when I grow up.
Another friend and colleague is passionate about allowing kids to be creative, to fail, to find their own solutions, and to make a difference. His approach to teaching inspires me. He's the one I go to when I'm wrestling with an idea for a project or need insights and critiques as to whether something works or not. I seek him out when I need affirmation that project-based learning is good for kids and that I'm not just "doing projects" but I'm teaching students what they need in life.
Then there's my friend and colleague who inspires me with the positive outlook on life she has. She always knows how to make people feel like they matter and they are important to her. How does she do that? By being herself and transparent and honest. She's my cheerleader, who's optimistic outlook buoys me up when I lack a positive attitude.
These are just three of the many who inspire me. But as I was thinking about this, I wondered about me. Do I inspire anyone? Do I show my passion for teaching? For kids? Do I have a positive outlook that impacts those around me? Am I passionate about my students, wanting them to succeed? With the new year a few days away, I'm considering my past as I contemplate my future. Where do I want to be in a year? Am I so sold out to something that I'm vocal in my support of it? Do I impact and inspire those around me?
The jury's still out on the answers to these questions, but they are, indeed, something to strive for. How 'bout you? Have you inspired anyone lately? Answering that could make all the difference.