Passion = Progress + Purpose

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“What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose.”  

Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good about Work? TEDx Talk

I always believe teaching career is more than just money and fun. It’s all about how we explode our passion by making consistent growth with sense of meaning, creation, challenges, identity, pride. It should be pretty simple, ya? But, most of the time, for some people, it’s luxurious stuff.

When we discuss about consistent progress, one of the most important aspect is Professional Development (PD). Unfortunately, there are so many experiences with Teachers PD has killed our progress. Sometimes it goes like this:

1. Must come from one ‘ultimate expert’ who live & work far-far away

2. Must wait from series of bureaucracy that tend to be too careful & picky.

3. Teachers have no voice to participate and speak honestly.

4. No choice, no concept, or practical things they can bring to their class.

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To make consistent growth, it’s impossible if we let those meaningless features stay in how teachers learn and grow.

As someone has said, “Don’t wait until someone create PD for you, create PD you deserve.” I believe we can find something that are much more meaningful for learn consistently. This is what group of teachers do including me to make Professional Development so alive:

1.  Teachers learn from each other

We might not experts who have vast knowledge of learning and teaching, but we do teaching everyday and want to strive to pursue better learning and teaching experiences. When we encourage teachers to learn and share with their peers, teachers could sense the similar meaning, identity, challenges that could be conquered by the spirit of collaboration.

2.  Collaboration

Initiating training is not as complicated as you think. It’s not a paper work with full of bureaucracy that wait to be approved. It’s all about connection, relationship, and collaboration. To initiate training, it’s very simple as you ask someone, “Hey, let’s learn something together. What can I contribute ? What can we do to make this happen?” When we connect, we identify the true needs, unique identity, original authenticity of teachers that learn with us.

3. Meaningful Participation

I believe one of the most effective training is to engage teachers to participate actively in the training. By letting them to make a choice, take a part, share honest questions, show inability, contribute ideas, you will inspire & empower each other. It happen when you add meaning to what your are doing together with teachers.

4. Bring the Ownership

I believe one of the best takeaways from PD is to change educator’s mindset about how they learn something. By giving vast choice of implementation, practical concept & practices, teachers OWN their PD.  I could still remember the genuine curiosity came from one teacher in training session that challenges me to think how do we implement what we have learned in different context. It makes me go deeper and feel what I learn is so down to earth.

Here’s some better tips of what your teachers want for Professional Development. Not all are practical but need to consider to assure consistent learning progress.

Image Courtesy: @sylviaduckworth

Finally, I would say to add meaning to teaching career, “Spend some time, energy, effort in getting people to care more about what they’re doing ” #TEDEdChat.

Let your passion shine by keeping your progress and purpose come alive with the PD that you deserve.

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Steven is a life long learner and multi-award educational technology coach with international certifications from Google, Apple, National Geographic, TED Ed, Google Earth Education, EdTech Team, EduTECH Asia, Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative, US Embassy, Tech in Asia, and many international and local institutions.

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