Friday, April 19, 2013
Day 16: I'm Just Full of Passion
The past couple of weeks, I've shared a lot of stuff about me and my life. Most stuff you already knew, other stuff you might not have known. Even though the list of blog topic posts came to me from a quick Google search, I've still managed to attach almost every one of them to teaching in some way or another, even though the intent was to be different aspects and events in my life. Most have been positive - sharing strengths and things that make me happy and the influential people I've had in my life and so on.
You was expecting to me to say that today was going to be different, didn't you? Well, I'm not. Today is very similar to stuff I've already posted about... in fact I think I've probably mentioned everything I'm going to talk about today.
Today's post is explaining some of the things I'm passionate about.
Well, you know where my obvious path would be...and that would be teaching. But, let's steer off that highway for a while and try and focus on some other passions I have. I consider myself a pretty passionate person. I often have strong emotions about a particular subject or activity and can sometimes become fixated on it. It's just who I am. I consider myself a go-getter, and when I want something I do everything in my power to follow it through.
The other day, when I wrote my strengths post, someone mentioned to me that I left a big strength off of that list - and that would be my writing. I hadn't even thought about it, to be honest. I don't even know if I consider my writing as a strength. In my mind, my writing is more of a passion. I do it because I love doing it. I do it because I feel so much better after I've let some steam escape through my fingers. I enjoy talking about writing, teaching writing, and writing all different types of stuff. I've been told that I'm a good writer. I think I'm pretty OK at it. But, I don't write because I think I'm good at it... that probably wouldn't matter a bit.
I am passionate about writing.
At some point during the past couple of weeks, I've shared with you that I have some trouble making friends. I think that a lot of that has to do with the passion that I attach to my opinions and ideas. If I'm asked for my opinion, I'm going to give it... even if it's not what the other person is wanting me to say. Definitely not a strength of mine, but it is something I'm very passionate about. My position is if you don't want to hear what I have to say, then please don't ask what I think or how I feel about something. In fact, I have strong stands about a lot of political, religious, and general hot topics of discussion - and if I'm asked, I'm going to give my stance. However, that is often misconstrued as me thinking that my opinion and ideas are right. That's not the case at all.
Which leads me to something else I'm passionate about - respecting the ideas and opinions of others. You'll see me write about this more than I will my own ideas and opinions. I get so angry and frustrated sometimes just moseying around on Facebook. I can and will say that there isn't an ounce of me that thinks that my religious, personal, or political beliefs are any better or more justified than anyone else's. I don't think there's any part of me that has the right to cast judgement on others nor impose on the rights of other people just because of their beliefs or lifestyle. Who am I to say that one religion is more justified or better than another? Who am I to think that certain people should not be in relationships with other people? Who am I to cast judgement on certain races, classes, genders, etc.? Who am I? A nobody. In that sense, anyway. Yes, I can have opinions - but I can also respect the opinions of others. In fact, the only opinion I have on the subject is that I don't remember anyone being discovered to be the One. I don't remember Fox News reporting that the decider of right and wrong is among us and making these decisions. No, I know that there are lots of people out there with their own opinions, that don't give a flying hoot what anyone else's stance or beliefs or sides to the story. They believe their opinion is the only opinion and will bash and hate and hurt others to stick by it. I am not one of those people.
And that's something I'm very passionate about.
My opinions and ideas, my thoughts about other peoples opinions and ideas... both something I'm passionate about and that's because of one other passion: Honesty. I'm an extremely honest person, probably to a fault. I hate lying and I hate to be lied to. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not going to sit here and tell you all that I've never lied in my life. That would be the biggest lie I've ever told. I'm a mother. That automatically puts me down to slipping out a few white lies here and there. And I'm not talking about some of the lies that may escape my lips during certain holidays. I don't consider them lies, I consider them tales of imagination. I don't speak of those things to deceive, I speak of those things to encourage and excite. No, I'm talking about those little white lies that all parents tell their kids at some point or another. I'm pretty sure there's a whole section on this in the parenting manual if you look it up. And I already feel pangs of judgement seeping through my computer screen. Well, keep it to yourself... cause I just can't believe for one second that there's a single parent out there that hasn't stretched the truth or told a few lies here and there to their kids.
That's not where I was going... I was trying to make the point about how passionate I am about being honest. And this actually goes hand in hand with my opinion rant. I just love it when people say "I want your honest opinion on something". OK. No problem. Hit me with it. And then I give them exactly what they asked for - and then they get mad and upset and don't speak to me for days. Urm, how about next time you say "I want your opinion, but only if it's the same opinion as I'm having m'kay?" That would make my life a lot easier.
In fact, I honestly believe that one of the reasons I had such a hard time finding a teaching job is because of my honesty. And no, that doesn't mean I finally got my teaching job because I lied through my teeth during my interview... I was honest there, and it was finally appreciated.
Actually, I remember an interview when I knew it was game over because of the honest answer I gave. I was asked what my stance was for expectations in the classroom. My answer? "I hold children to very high standards. Good enough is not good enough for me. I will always push my students to do better, give me everything they have. I honestly don't care what a state test says about them - I want them to speak for themselves. I want them to feel good about the accomplishments they make, even if it's not to the standards the state requires. If I can push a child to at least go from not caring about their education to having passion and excitement about their education, then I feel I've done my job." That was quickly followed up with.. "thanks, we'll call you when we've made our decision". And I received my Dear John letter a week later. Any guesses about what signed my death certificate at that school?
The minute I showed my nonchalant attitude about the state testing... the door was quickly opened for me to leave. By giving my honest answer wasn't saying that I didn't care about the test... I've been in schools long enough to know about how important those tests are... I was merely offering my honest opinion about my teaching. However, that was a quick red flag to a prospective employer.
And look at that... I managed to end up talking about what I wasn't going to talk about. My teaching. But come on, do you really think I could write a post about the things I'm passionate about without bringing it up? Of course not!
I don't have to sit here and explain that passion to you, I don't think. Anyone that has read this blog at all could hopefully sense that in just about every post I've shared about being a teacher. All of my passion is focused on and around my teaching and my parenting... which kinda go hand in hand. I parent my kids with the exact same passion as I teach my students. It's why I think of myself as such a great mother and teacher. My kids are pushed with the same expectations as I impose on my students. My students are treated with love just as my kids are.
It's just something I'm very passionate about.