How teachers can find inspiration

Posted on Monday, 5/20/2013 5:17 PM

Whether an individual is trying to dream up the next great business idea or write a song, inspiration helps. As a result, it should come as no surprise that educators who feel more inspired also happen to be more effective teachers.

Of course, not all instructors are as inspired or inspiring as they would like to be. This is not to say they cannot turn things around and ensure their students are just as passionate about their learning as educators are about their teaching. While instructors can try to make classroom activities more engaging, such as through the integration of student software, they should also consider a few other ways to become inspired and, as a result, possibly become more effective teachers.

Learning from their peers
If educators lack inspiration, one thing they may want to try is seeing what inspires their fellow teachers. To coincide with Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran from May 6 through 10, the U.S. Department of Education blog recently highlighted a few instructors who are passionate about their profession, as well as what inspires them.

In some cases, major and personal events provide individuals with the push they need to pursue a career in education. This was the case with Rachel Jones, an eighth-grade science teacher at Brooks Middle School in Illinois, who told the blog she wanted to do something more meaningful after the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Breanna Ratkevic of George B. Fine Elementary School in New Jersey found her passion for teaching on a trip to Peru, where she did volunteer work with local children.

Other education officials, like Bradley Ashley, the technology coordinator at NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies, find their inspiration by helping students do what they themselves cannot.

"I'm not very creative, but the kids are and I get the opportunity to show them ways to be creative," Ashley told the blog. "Like the teacher that can't draw but provides the pen and paper."

Finding inspiration online
In a world where it seems like everyone has access to the Internet, many educators have accounts on social media websites. This means that teachers can follow an instructor they respect on Twitter, or send this individual a message on Facebook or LinkedIn. Social media has removed many of the barriers that once stood between people on opposite ends of the country - or even the world.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn's format even allows educators to receive updates from instructors they follow, such as links they find helpful or interesting. Just reading this content could be enough to inspire teachers to achieve classroom greatness.

Leaning on professional organizations for help
Educators should not forget that there are several professional organizations they can turn to for guidance. Maybe a teacher lacks the inspiration he or she needs to take control of an unruly classroom. The National Education Association or the ASCD, which was formerly known as the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, may be able to help.

For example, the ASCD's website provides strategies for fostering positive classroom settings, such as creating a code of conduct and reinforcing positive behaviors.

 

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