I was always drawn to students who were cast off or made to feel school wasn’t for them. I call these students college bound kids – those who may not have seen the benefit of education or understood how to learn within the construct of our education system. Truth be told, our system is not for every mind. I know this first hand. I thus became very motivated in finding minds who could in fact absorb, but needed to learn how to absorb a certain way. There is nothing more gratifying than turning on the light for an individual who has the hunger to be more than they thought they could ever be! I sought those students. I sought those moments and I did so because in my world, this is what a teacher needs to do. They need to find a way through and once they find it, once they drink the Kool-Aid, there is no stopping their potential.
Doing a job you aren't passionate about is a recipe for disaster.
Finding passion in a profession that doesn’t align with what you know is not easy. But it’s elementary school stuff anyways: Take care of what you love. Show your students, acquaintances, and colleagues that you are alive, that you care about them, that you celebrate what you do.
Challenge yourself. The passion part might be easy. The stuff around motivating and engaging the students is the real work. What I see is that starting, at least for me, as a career teacher is incredibly difficult. SMART goals are important. Without those, you don’t stand a chance to build resilience, patience and grit for the work. But the hard part isn’t finding the passion; it’s giving it a chance when no one thought it could happen for you.