Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #55
Step #4 from Passion! 8 Steps to Find Yours.
Ask Yourself If You’re Passionate About it
Obvious right? Passion is overrated, according to Cal Newport. And he has a point. But I think Robert Kaplan is right too when he says that passion is vital.
First, Newport. In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, he argues that passion is actually a byproduct. It is produced only after you get really good at something. Once you are incredibly good at something, then the passion kicks in, and you have what he calls “work that matters.” This is what we all should have.
Kaplan, though, argues that if you don’t have at least a modicum of passion for whatever you are striving for, you will never ever really become good at it. Malcolm Gladwell notes that we have to get in 10,000 hours before we can master anything. Kaplan would argue that in order to plug away at some thing for that long, you need to have a deep passion for it.
I agree (mostly) with Kaplan.
I enjoyed teaching early on. But I was facing burn out. I was doing okay as a teacher, but I didn’t have the growth or impact I really wanted.
That led me to take a year off and go to graduate school. That is where my true passion for teaching began. I fell in love with composition theory. I fell in love with focusing on pedagogy and learning.
When I returned to Lincoln,I had the passion to motivate me to hammer away to get in my 10,000 hours.