Thoughts on passion at work

As I’m writing this, I’m standing at the front of a class of 22 middle school engineering students constructing their paper roller coasters. Everyone is engaged in their creations, and working appropriately within their teams. I have my eye on a couple of girls being rather slothful and making every excuse to leave the room (they just left again – and they better not make me regret that choice).

Several years ago, I wouldn’t have dared to multi-task in front of a class of students like this. My attention would be completely focused on the room and what the students are (or are not) doing. But more and more, I find myself reading and answer emails, or writing out future lesson plans during class time.

Granted, the engineering camp is very different from a normal math lesson. Most activities are self-directed, with very little direct instruction involved. This particular group of students are super interested in what they are doing, and in general work well with each other. If any of those things weren’t in place, I wouldn’t be blogging right now.

It has led me to question whether I’m gaining more skill in teaching or whether I’m losing some passion in this career. I’ve been a bit…bored.

But wait! Only ‘boring people are bored.’ What’s up with that?

I really don’t know what’s up with that. I don’t know whether I’m still tired from the regular school year, or this isn’t challenging to me anymore, or a combination of these two and then some.

Looking back, I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve:

  • chaired school site council
  • lead the math department for 4 years
  • created curriculum from scratch, including writing a workbook
  • presented at conferences
  • learned at even more conferences
  • graduated with a masters
  • created the math EL and intervention programs from scratch
  • interviewed new hires, both teaching and admin
  • mentored student teachers

I still like doing these things. I definitely love my co-workers. But I’m getting that ‘wanderlust’ itch to do something new. Something different. To take a risk and accept a challenge that involves putting myself in a vulnerable place to get judged, and possibly rejected or condemned. This blog fulfills a little bit of that.

Wow. That sounds horrible. Who would ever want to do that? But it’s that….or boredom. There has to be another solution, right? RIGHT?! I suppose I can also do more new things in my personal life as well. Too much comfort. Too much complacency.

What are some ways that you get out of your comfort zone?

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