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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Evolution of #MyWhy

Listening to the latest "Ditch That Textbook" podcast episode (click here for audio) I was motivated to reflect on my "Why" of teaching and how my Why has evolved over the years. Great educators don't just merely tell you what they do, they tell you how they do it. Exceptional educators don't just tell you how they do it, they tell you WHY they do what they do. Currently, I have two main "Why's" That drives me as a teacher.

I originally wanted to be a coach/PE teacher because of my HS PE Teacher, Coach Davis. I more or less wanted to be a coach because that is where Coach Davis made the most impact on my life. I thought to my self that if I could be an ounce of what Coach Davis was that I would be making an impact on the world. I also thought that teaching was a great job for a family. Thought teaching was going to be easy; teach the same content year after year and have summers and holidays off (how I was SO wrong about this mentality).

I couldn't really articulate my why at the time and I probably was trying to live other people's why's. I also didn't like that my why was motivated to do something for myself and not for the benefit of all people. 


During college and early years of teaching, I realized how important Adventist Education was in my life and I wanted to give back and try to change people's lives just like my life was changed through it. If people asked me Why I was an educator this is exactly what I would tell them. I feel like this why is still shallow. It is still about me and how it gives me satisfaction. I do like that there is an outcome of changing peoples lives but it seems vague. How are people's lives going to be changed? What am I going to do differently to change peoples lives?

I was inspired by Simen Sinek Ted Talk about knowing you're why many years ago and have been trying to constantly reflect and own my Why. Why is even my #OneWord2018 challenge, read more about it here, but basically I want to make sure I know why we are doing any activity in my classroom. With much back and forth I have settled on the following two Why's of not just an educator but as a person:

I believe that when we are better equipped to be physically active and can move in a variety of ways our body and mind will be a better place to make a difference with the people around us. Think about the cost of healthcare that is caused by the inadequate amount of physical activity. According to the CDC, that figure is costing America $117 BILLION Dollars a year, click here for more info. How much better would our world be if we were healthier to do what we love? How much better would we be if we were stronger and more alert when we were doing what we love? 

I also believe that when we own our learning we will better equipped to impact the lives around us. There is something empowering when we tell people that they can do whatever they want and I truly believe that statement. It might be hard but the brain is very plastic. I think when we shift the responsibility to each person to learn they can truly take ownership of their passions. I ask my students every year "who is in charge of your learning?" I am always surprised how many will say me. I think as the education we need to 

Both Why's have the same outcome, to better equipped to change the world. They are tools for people that will help them ultimately be better equipped to follow their passions. 

1 comment:

  1. Well done Alex. I agree the why is the base of what we do. Without that knowledge the rest of our pedagogy is on shaky ground.