If You Have Passion, You Need Constant Inspiration

As an educator, having passion is what drives us. However, we are human and, sometimes that passionate light can diminish due to lack of personal inspiration.

This article is for teachers. This article is to bring you aware to the fact that you need inspiration in order to keep going in a passionate manner. Sometimes we don’t want to think as though we need help. After all — we’re teachers — we’re superheroes right? Not exactly, we are still human. Humans that need assistance everyone in a while.

Fist, what inspires you? What get’s your juices flowing and your heart pumping? Is it a good movie or something someone says?

I believe that we all have inspirational triggers that set us off both; in positive ways and negative ways. What we want to focus on here is the positive triggers that get us a-movin’.

The negative triggers are also important to know. Mainly, so we can avoid being in situations where they are stimulated.

The positive triggers we want to locate and use and jet fuel to propel our mentality until a passionate speed demon, ready to take over the world.

For example, what really inspires me is seeing others succeed and conquer great accomplishments. In other words, my inspirational trigger is to see what is possible beyond what I’m doing. If I see someone has played a song in under a minute, then I want to do it, but better (See Jesse’s Polka I did in 57seconds!). My trigger is being challenged to be and do better once I’ve seen what is possible. This get’s my creative juices flowing, thinking of new ideas I could incorporate into the project.

Q: What triggers turn you into a passionate jet?

 Once you have your trigger nailed down, it’s time for you to saturate yourself in it.

For me, this means watching people on youtube conquer mountains, break world records, and the like. This keeps me going and inspires me to be more passionate and driven than before.

Q: How can you saturate yourself more in your positive trigger?

This is the key moment when you will start to feel your blood flowing and your mind racing. You will want to take more action, create a better services and, inspire your students to do even better. This is when the circle has been completed. You have been inspired and through your passion inspiration is now being given. This is the beauty of passion. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Live your inspiration deliberately!

With appreciation,

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Top 10 Mistakes Teachers Make When Stressed

  • Do you feel as though your day, previous to teaching, seeps into your ability to teach effectively?
  • Do you ever feel as though problems from days previous effective how you interact with students?
  • Do you ever feel as though your problems become find their way onto the shoulders of your students?

These are tough questions to be honest about… We all have stressful days, challenges and situations that seem to get out of control. As a result, our teaching is affected. More importantly, our students are affected.

We must learn to keep our out-of-classroom(OOC)stresses separate from our, well, classroom. :-)

In order for use to do this we need to become aware of the things that might trigger unwanted reactions to students. Awareness is key and, in this article I will list the top 10 mistakes[us]teachers make when we are stressed and how they affect how effective we are as educators.

Top 10 Mistakes Teachers Make When Stressed

  1. Take things personally: When we take things that are OOC personally, we tend to carry it with us for a substantial period of time. Furthermore, we tend to take more things personally than we might have before. In other words, we build momentum in taking things personal. This easily transfers to the classroom when a student or parent says something that isn’t personal, but we take as so. Be aware and don’t allow this to happen to you.
  2. Remain closed-minded: This can set it when we feel as though we aren’t in control of a part of our life. For example, if a relationship we are in is spiraling out of our control, we tend to attempt to lock down other parts of our lives in an effort of regain control. Be careful… Allow for an open mind so that your students can grow and prosper.
  3. Not listening: If our minds are someplace else we tend to not listen, on any level, to what students and parents are telling us. Vital information is found in the meanings of what people say. Therefore, if we are mentally closed off due to OCC stressors, we won’t have the privilege to gain that much needed information.
  4. Sensitivity: Every student is different but, every student needs a certain amount of sensitivity in order to thrive. As an educator you should be looked upon as a guide, not an authority figure. You should be someone that has a helping hand, not a hand of steel. Don’t let past OOC stressors close you down to the sensitivities of your students. Be patient and soft when needed.
  5. Organization: This is a subject that I speak about frequently, with conviction. If you aren’t organized in every way possibly, I believe, you can’t teach effectively. When stressed, we often let things fall apart as a result of our internal mental breakdown. What this does is immediately affect our ability to pay attention to organizational details. This hurts our effectiveness and the the level for which we can educate our students. Take deep breaths and keep focused. Details matter in education.
  6. Parent perception: This is a topic that I plan to do an entire series on. A topic that is not spoken of very often. However, no less important, parent perception[of you]is incredibly important. This does not mean you need to lie or boost yourself up to make yourself look more important. Parent perception is all about one things: The ability for parents to see you as someone that cares about their child’s education. This means you need to listen, be open, and ask questions. This also means that you can’t allow OOC stressors to effect the way you interact with parents. If you’re having a bad day and will be interacting with parents; stay silent. Allow them to do most of the talking. Smile when appropriate and acknowledge their comments and concerns. Everyone wins.
  7. Creativity: If your day is going bad and you close down, naturally, your creativity will be diminished heavily. This will also heavily influence your ability to be flexibly with different ways of teaching; a vital skill for an educator. Stress knocks our ability to find new ways of presenting information. Therefore, become aware of if you are experiencing “creativity block” and ask yourself whether stress if having an influence on your ability to be creative or not.
  8. Big-Picture vision: Stress has a way of getting us to think only about the past. Really, that’s what stress is; a distraction from what we need to be doing at this very moment. Stress is like a virtual time machine. It takes us to places that don’t exist and are not how they really are. This distracts us from focus on the big picture for the success of out students. I need say no more as to how this influence your teaching in it’s entirety.
  9. Attitude: 80% of communication is nonverbal. Therefore, our attitude in the classroom is 80% more important than anything we say to our students. Students, children in particular, pick up on subtle changes in our body language, facial expressions and physical gestures. If our attitude is in the wrong place due to someone cutting us off in track that morning, our students will immediately pick up on that regardless of if we great them with a solid “Good morning!”
  10. Classroom energy: Now, hocus-pocus aside, we can all agree that we’ve been in classrooms that have been buzzing with excitement. This is not possible if we enter the room with a bad energy ourselves. We need to leave our personal problems and OOC stressors at the door and cultivate an energy in the room that enables creativity and learning. Focus on how to enhance the energy of the room, not focusing on our personal issues. We must think of our students first, ourselves out of the classroom. Keep the positive energy going and never let yourself get in the way or your educational power.

Live your inspiration deliberately!

With appreciation,

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One Habit That Will Immediately Improve Your Teaching

“The best teachers don’t judge, they engage.” -Thomas McGregor

Let’s be honest — I talk about this subject more than I do any other subject, sub-subject or adjacent-sub-subject associated with being an educator. Although I speak about it a lot, I think it’s worth mentioning again to help drive home the idea.

The idea is of engagement versus teaching. I saw a quote recently that said, “Don’t make them think, engage them!” I really love this because it makes you think differently as an educator. This statement allows you to shift your focus from “I’m going to make their mind work” to “How can I get them involved?”

In my blog post from Sept. 16th I go into deep detail regarding student engagement. To prime your thought process, here are 12 engagement ideas:

  1. Act out your point
  2. Involve a student in the story
  3. Create an engaging environment
  4. Drop words and use movements
  5. Change environments
  6. Bring in other professional
  7. Community involvement
  8. Paint images with movements
  9. Play games
  10. Select close interests
  11. Increase laughter and fun
  12. Involvement in lesson creation

The HABIT you MUST immediately start using in your teaching is the habit of student engagement. Get in the habit of engaging your students at every possible opportunity. That’s right, EVERY time you get a chance.

Engagement shouldn’t be something that we need to implement. Students should be engaged 80% of the lesson or I don’t consider it a successful lesson. This is because as soon as students aren’t engaged in what they are learning the drop off into day dream land. In other words, your students will not retain any information long term unless you stick to making this a key teaching improvement a habit. Engagement ensures that the information you are presenting stays with them for years to come.

Engagement works well because it involves the student different ways of absorbing information. Instead of simply speaking or showing the information you are requiring many different areas of your student to become involved in the absorption process.

I think it’s safe to say that engagement is the way to go. But this isn’t something that happens overnight. You must start using this habit more and more over time. First, start by engaging in the first concept you want to teach. Then, once you get better and better you can incorporate your entire lesson plan as a lesson of engagement. You will feel more fulfilled and your students will retain more for longer.

Engagement is a WIN-WIN teaching habit.

Live your inspiration deliberately!

With appreciation,

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Become A Master Communicator: 4 Tips

“The ability to transfer your idea to the brain of someone else is the ability to influence and make a difference.” – Thomas McGregor


  1. Keep your face in check: Arguably the most important communicator, your face, needs practice and constant refining. “Wait, refine your face you say?” Well, refine your facial expressions. Researchers say that 85% of communication is non-verbal. This would include the expressions your face puts off. Communication via non-verbal communication is communication that connects to our subconscious. This is why we need to constantly take control of what our face is saying without verbally saying anything. Once you are aware of what you are saying with your face, you can then take control of it and be more clear in your communication. Awareness is key in this tip as it will clarify your message. Your non-verbal message, that is.
  2. Study other faces: A great tool available to all of use is to study the faces of other people to understand what types of expressions are to “speak” a message. This will also give you much more information about the person you are communicating with, without them having to say much. Each emotional message is backed up by a facial expression. FBI human lie-detectors are very skilled in reading facial expressions. They watch faces for what they call, “micro-shifts” These are small little shifts in movements of their face that will give away the true intentions behind their words. Now, you don’t have to become a FBI agent in order to benefit from reading people. You too can read faces every day as a practice in order to gain information from people without them having to say much.
  3. Credibility: This component of communication is often over-looked. The reason developing credibility before you attempt to convey a message to someone is because most people won’t listen to you unless they trust your opinion. The fastest way to do this is to establish your credibility in your area of profession. The key to this is to do this in a way that doesn’t sound braggy. You want to simply state that you’ve been apart of things that relate to your field. For example: “I’ve been apart of workshops that have placed me in a leadership position to educate children in the art of music.” This is a statement I would use in order to establish credibility. This resonates differently than “I’ve done this and that and this and that…” Using the word apart makes it seem more like a story rather than you tootin’ your horn.
  4. Perspectives: Keep the perspectives of those you are communicating at the forefront of your mind. Everyone has their story that is held dearly to them. This story offers a perspective that is personal to them. Sometimes something is said and can be taken completely different then intended. This is at no fault of the either involved. However, as a master communicator you must make it your responsibility to take control of understanding where your audience is coming from. Once you understand their position on a specific subject you can speak as to not get snagged on their negative dispositions. Your message will slip by all the mental stumbling blocks that may arise due to a differing in perspective by those you are communicating with.

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5 Unconventional Ways to Teach

I feel as though teachers feel like they are spinning their educating wheels when it comes to their style in the classroom. Do you feel this way sometimes? Do you feel as though your way of teaching was brought about by others? Do you not feel as though you don’t have an original style of teaching? If this is true for you then this article is for you… I will outline the 5 Unconventional Ways to Teach giving you ideas for creating your own style of teaching.

  1. Audio Teaching: Teaching Through Voice / Song / Music Sometimes straight facts can be uninteresting and void of keeping the attention of students. Let’s face it, facts by themselves on a sheet of paper are a kind-of boring. With audio teaching you can use the gift of sound to bring the facts to life. By using your voice effectively or by turning the information into a song, your students will never forget the information due to your unconventional approach.
  2. Real-Life Teaching: Teaching with Real-Life Examples This can be a very fun one to implement. You can use this technique in combination with people of your community. If you are talking about fire safety, bring in a fireman and take your students out to see the fire truck in action. By showing them real-life application their view of the information with widen and become more concrete in their minds.
  3. Teaching by Teaching: The Art of Learning by Teaching Others This is one of my personal favorites because I believe it to work the best. When you get your students working together by teaching each other there is a sense of deeper learning due to having to really know what they know in order to teach it to others. Split your students up into groups, then have them teach each other something that they observed when they were learning about that subject. This will deepen their understand of both, the information at hand and of what you do as a teacher.
  4. Teaching by Strengths: Highlighting What Works Best What you will do in this style is find the strengths of each student and use them to best demonstrate a point in the lesson. This does two things; 1. You will build confidence in the students by focusing on an area they excel and 2. You will teach them that there is nothing wrong with being proud of what they can do well. For example, if a student can draw really well, have him draw a detailed image of something associated in your subject. If a student can sing really well, have them write a song about the subject you are working on. This is such a powerful style to implement. The changes you will see in classroom dynamic will astonish you.
  5. Teaching by Doing: Leaders Go First As a teacher you are a leader. Therefore, you must go first. You must take the first step, risk, and responsibility. By doing this you show your students that you are willing to vouch for them and their education. Show by example by doing the process before you ask them to do so. If something seems “reach for the stars” hard for them then, do it first – many times – and show them that even teachers make mistakes and are human. By showing your humanity within this style, you will demystify the “teacher-student” paradigm and allow for an equality to arise. This equality will enable the emotional centers of the students in a way that will allow them to come to you as a friend versus an authority figure. This is the ultimate in a student-teacher relationship.

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Why Teaching Timing is Everything

I believe that how things are timed is very important for the success of any venture in life. Timing eludes to the intersection of two events or people at a particular moment. These types of intersections only happen as a result of synchronicities that are beyond our current understanding. However, there are some aspects of timing that we can have control over. The main being that we are prepared as much as possible. Because we never know when we might need a tool that we currently don’t have. Once we acquire the tools that we don’t need, we then realize that we need them at a later time. Time, at his point, won’t be an issue.

Why Teaching Timing is Everything 

This is a good question… Why IS timing important? Time is important because not every student is ready to learn what you have to teach at the time you are teaching it. If you have a curriculum to stick to this might seem like a concept that doesn’t apply to you. This simply isn’t true. Time is more important in your case because your only task is to teach the information in on school year that is allotted to you in the curriculum. Do you really need to teach it in the order they give it? No, especially since the order you have might not work for every student you are teaching. The question that follows is in how you accommodate each student in the classroom so that your timing works well? The answer is simple; you become so acquainted with your students that you are able to group them together in learning speeds. Once you have them in metaphorical “groups” on a list in your desk, placing them in categories so you can see how to address those that need more help and those that excel. By focusing on the timing of when you give educating you will be able to give attention where is needed and where it’s. As you can see, timing is more of a focusing tool above anything else. When you focus on the timing of how you educate, you allow yourself some flexibility and freedom to support your students in the current way. Timing what you teach and when you teach it will offer more satisfying results for your students.


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3 Pieces of Teaching Advice to Live By

Isn’t it amazing that we are able to positively influence our lives through teaching and, positively influence teaching through our lives? We are all individual with unique perspectives on world, so we are able to influence and be influenced through the journey of educating others. The key is to be open to these changes and allow for them to shape new ways of thinking and seeing the world. As a result we find truths that transfer from classroom to personal life. 

  1. Patience: Being a teacher requires that you have a generous amount of patience. Patience is defined as having the tolerance of enduring suffering without acting in anger. When you come to terms with a solid foundation of patience in the classroom, your emotions will stay in check. Patience takes practice and means you will need to take a moment before reacting to a situation. As educators, events are going to occur that are out of our control. These situations can cause stress and anxiety if we don’t implement patience. This deep element of patience can be transferred to our every day life simply. When the drive cuts you off on your way to the store, you can implement patience with yourself as to not get automatically mad. When the gas station clerk takes long to give you back your change, you can act in patience as to not stress you or him out by trying to rush him. Patience is very much needed in this day. Use as a muscle and see the changes in your life occur.
  2. Inspiration: Inspiration appears when we are least ready. This is because implementing inspiration is hard due to the over thinking we do. This is why we need to remain open to inspirational situations that may pop up at a moments notice. This could be from something that a student says. It could be something a parent says about how well you are teaching. No matter the situation, we must be ready and willing to invite inspiration into our lives. As a by-product, we should strive to give inspirational thoughts and ideas to others that grace us in our lives. Family, friends and, even strangers can benefit from some encouraging thoughts now and then. Let us make it a practice to have this occur more often than we currently do.
  3. Vision: We all know how important it is to hold a solid and clear vision for our students. A vision can offer a clear sense of where we are taking them and, most importantly, seeing where they might end their journey with us. Having this vision is incredibly empowering. The vision gives us a sense of control over how we impact the students under our care. It should, because it does. Just as vision establishes empowering control for our students, so can it for our lives. We must take action to see a large vision for our lives so that we too can act in accordance with a wider impact of our community. The key here is to allow for our ultimate vision to take shape regardless of what takes hold in our mind. It might seem crazy, but all large visions are. Keep your vision strong and intact. Allow no one tell you that it can’t be done or that you are stupid. You aren’t. You have a vision and, you will win!

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