|Image from a presentation by Christy Hilbun
"Within your subject matter, what are you passionate about teaching?"
When I was teaching fifth grade, this would have been an easy answer: U.S. History! I love our country's early history: the crazy adventures of the first European explorers, the hardships of colonization, the passion that ignited the revolutionary war, and my all-time favorite topic: the three branches of government. Next fall, when I am officially an advanced learning teacher, those aren't technically within my subject matter. Instead, I'll be teaching reading and math switch groups for third, fourth, and fifth graders.
My passions in reading and math aren't as easy to define. I'm passionate about good storytelling and the ability to get lost in a great book. I'm passionate about learning through non-fiction. I'm passionate about connecting mathematics to real life. I want my students to fall in love with reading for pleasure and reading to learn. In math, I want them to see mathematics as a language for communication and problem solving. If I can weave those into every class, the passion will be there.
"Within your profession, but not specific to your subject matter, what are you passionate about?"
Lifelong learning is definitely a passion! When I was in school, I wasn't a good student, but I was a good learner. I would take an idea and run with it, puzzling though multiple solutions or seeking out books to learn more. My greatest goal as a teacher is to create lifelong learners. I want my students to have the tools to learn and discover about anything they want or need to know.
"Completely outside your profession, what are you passionate about?"
I love my family! I want to spend quality time with them and have fun. Music is a big part of my life. I play the tuba whenever I get a chance, but listening to music is one of my favorite activities. I grew up loving my grandpa's big band records. I still love the music of his era, but I've branched out to have very eclectic tastes: I'll listen to anything! Food is always on my mind. I enjoy cooking just as much as eating. I studied the Titanic disaster in-depth throughout high school and college, and I still add to my library of books and articles about the ill-fated maiden voyage. And I can't get enough of surprising and obscure facts: I'm constantly reading articles from mental_floss and sharing all of the crazy things I learn with anyone who will listen.
Now that I've identified my passions, it's time to bring them into my classroom. I'm looking forward to learning how to do that in the rest of Teach Like a PIRATE. And I'll keep you updated as I continue to experiment and refine...
If you would like to join the #IDedchat study of Teach Like a PIRATE, let me know in the comment section or by contacting me on Twitter @teacherwithtuba We just got started, and would be happy to build a larger group!