In my “day job” (just kidding, I work evenings and weekends, too) I have the honour to teach undergraduate students.
This past week, I was covering for a colleague’s class and a student I knew from last year asked me about the courses I was teaching this year, as I recently moved from teaching in 2nd year of a program to teaching 4th year.
She asked, “do you ever get bored of teaching the same thing over, and over?”.
“No, not at all!”, I quickly and honestly replied. “The awesome thing with teaching, just like with nursing, is that you’re always reflecting on your practice and improving, based on that…I’m constantly revising or improving the way I teach, activities in the classroom and even revamping assignments for the course. I look at it this way: I have these awesome opportunities to be creative, stay curious and hopefully make things better for the learners in the classroom. It is so important to keep that spark, and you can be working in your daily role and still follow what you are curious and passionate about…”.
There was another student in the class who had asked me about my IBCLC certification and how she could work on it when she graduated. I shared some information about my journey to become a lactation consultant many years ago. I said, that was a little spark for me. I loved helping new families and this certification was something I felt intrigued by and I wanted to learn more about how I could best care for families. I am so grateful that I was attuned to those seemingly little things, or areas I loved to study, as it has certainly as helped me immensely on my path and in my career.
A little while later, I reflected on the class that I taught that day. I always review what went well, what didn’t, and how I can improve in future. (More on the importance of honest reflection, in another post). I also thought more about my conversation with the students.
I contemplated… What was the meaning of the messages I shared that day? Did I convey my true passion for lifelong learning?
Here are the key points from our conversation, and from my own experiences as a lifelong learner.
- Finding your passion is vital to keeping motivated.
- You can always be “looking to the horizon” to see what new and exciting opportunities are being presented.
- There is something curious about every day. Sometimes, you just have to look around for it.
- YOU can choose to be excited and creative about your work, your role and your daily tasks (or you can consider them mundane).
- If your role is very standardized, look for things that excite you outside of your role (these things may or may not directly relate to your job, and that is okay!)
- The difference between being excited and feeling mundane or bored is the passion and spark that YOU add to the mix.
It is clear that I believe that you can be in a certain vocation or role and find something stimulating about it, every day.
When I reflected on my four years of teaching the same course, I recognize that what kept me driven and motivated was that I love to learn. Staying curious is something that has fostered my life long learning philosophy. Quality improvement is key, in any role, situation, or profession. Opportunities to grow and improve are truly endless, as long as you are keeping yourself truly engaged.
An example from my life and career is that I have always been interested in online and blended learning. I took a few courses in contemporary learning practices and online learning during the Spring, a few years back. The final course assignment was to a create a hypothetical blended, online course. After writing the paper on this topic, I was so excited about this as a possible project and I presented it to our leadership team, who 110% supported me! It was such an awesome opportunity that came from one course, one idea, and one little spark of passion. You never know when your next source of inspiration will be, and when you find it!
It may help to remember this quote, too (it helped me to get through grad school, actually) ….
NEVER give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to achieve it. The time will pass by anyway. (Author: Earl Nightingale).
These days, my passion is in writing and this is a significant reason I created this blog. I want to share my ideas, hear from others, and meet others who are also passionate about writing, blogging, online communities, and more. If you’re feeling stuck in the everyday grind, ask yourself the following question:
If I could choose anything in the world to study or learn about, what would that be?
What was the first thing that came to mind?
Keep in mind, that little spark means something. Foster that flame.
Perhaps it is taking a class, or going back to school. It could be designing or creating something to share, large or small scale. Maybe it’s taking that perfect recipe that you have and sharing it with the world. Maybe it’s finding a little community to learn and grow with, like I am hoping to do here.
Large or small, your passions are uniquely yours. I have learned to embrace my quirks and my differences. Not every one relates to blogging, and I am pretty sure that people wonder why I am even writing this “stuff”! That said, this my passion and I’m loving it.
Follow your dreams and listen to the seemingly random nudges and ideas that are guiding you. Keep your head up, look to the horizon to see what exciting endeavors are ready for you to engage with.
Share with our community: What has kept you motivated, or inspired you to try something new? Have you recently taken on a new hobby or activity? What helped you to take the final plunge? Share in the comments below, or leave a message on Instagram or Facebook. Remember, sharing your ideas and knowledge may help to spark motivation, in someone else, too!
With love and thankfulness that you are here.