On Twitter, a fellow educator mentioned to me the Sir Ken Robinson speech from TED this year, a video I have probably watched 10 times but it never gets old. This time, it was the part about passion that affected to me. He spoke about how it is a shame that more people don’t have a career that is focused on what they are passionate about. I agree with him, and I believe it is a key part of something I have struggled with in my new position.
I live to work with kids, I know that is what I am passionate about. In my current position as a first year assistant principal, I see a lot of kids each day. I teach a couple classes during the course of a week, including a Web Design option and a Basketball option class, two courses I enjoy teaching a great deal. Even though I spend a lot of time each day with students, it just doesn’t compare to working every day as a classroom teacher. I miss teaching a core course in the classroom (I have taught the four, Science, Social, Math and Language Arts) and helping students tackle the important curriculum materials day in and day out. There is something to be said for taking on that challenge with a group of young people and helping them make the journey from course outline to final exam. I miss the immense amount of time you get to spend with your classes, providing ample opportunity to connect with students, to take time to discuss their interests and really get a sense of who they are, while they get a true sense of who I am. I find myself keeping the students I do interact with be it on supervision, in my office or in the hallways, a little too long as I try to fill the void created by my missing out on these connections.
I don’t have to be reminded that the work I do helps the teachers and education assistants in our building get the chance to work closely with kids, I get that. I also know that I have found a passion in working to assist some teachers in my building, sharing strategies or advice when I have some to offer. I can see that the work I do is important and is helpful, but I struggle with missing the real connection with kids that motivated me to become an educator in the first place.
I wonder what Ken Robinson would tell me? What I have done for the past 8 years has been my passion and part of who I am, would he think that I will receive the same reward from this position in the future? Will a similar inspiration come from working indirectly with kids rather than directly? Will a passion grow for me from the work I do as an administrator?
What do you think about this issue? Are there administrators out there that had difficulty with this same issue? Are there teachers out there that can empathize with the loss of constant student connection?
I would appreciate feedback, so please leave a comment if you have something to share.