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What's Your Passion?

Focusing Your Lens
By Vickie Swann
What's Your Passion?

(Photo Source: Author) 

Magnified Lens, a deep dive into who are you?

As a middle school principal, I vividly recall standing in front of almost 300 adolescents asking this very question, “What is Your Passion?” It was the start of a school year, and I was introducing student passion projects or what we called iTime (Murdoch 116). There was a variety of typical middle school reactions, eye-rolling, sighs of disbelief, excitement, and curiosity. 

But how often do we stop to ask ourselves the same question…. What is MY passion? What brings me joy and happiness? What truly makes my insides bubble with excitement and enthusiasm? What keeps me up at night? No, not the worries and stresses of the day, but the joys that keep us from resting in hopes of doing just a bit more of that one thing we truly love and desire. The thing that makes us feel whole, complete, and connected.  

How often can we honestly say we pause with intention from our day-to-day chaos, ambitious professional planning, and daily noise to self-appraise how well we honor our own passions? When and how do we shift our schedules or insert ourselves into activities that take us back to the basics, back to why we chose to be educators in the first place? When do we make tough decisions to redirect our hearts and souls to align with our core values? Though these questions may not have easy answers and apparent solutions, there are opportunities for us to pause, plan, and act in order to rekindle this remote idea. 

In my current role as Director of Teaching and Learning at a small, international school, I am fortunate to wear many hats, curriculum specialist, teacher trainer, instructional coach, teacher, and mentor to name a few. So, I have been able to balance the responsibilities defined by the role with my passions. I love being around young and adult learners alike; I am inspired by co-creating and co-crafting authentic experiences; I am an environmental enthusiast that appreciates being surrounded by nature. Does this always fit nicely in a pretty box with a bright bow? Absolutely not, but I do my best to instill my passions by reaching out to teachers to provide a safe place to develop units and curricula, apply external professional learning to lessons and activities, co-teach lessons connected to environmental advocacy, and, most importantly, inspire and support others with their own passions. 

Though my current role does provide a forum for many joyful experiences, I have also thought quite a bit about the bigger picture. As I begin to transition from my current position to a new adventure, I have the beautiful (and scary) opportunity to truly search for that perfect fit, a common north star that supports my personal and professional passions. My wish is that by sharing my reflective journey and encouraging you to do the same, you can go back to the basics to spark some excitement around your passions too. 

As we move through the semester, I hope each of you will take a moment to identify and honor your passions, to live by what we teach and provide for our students and colleagues, and stay awake at night for all the right reasons. I challenge you to pause for just a moment to ask, what’s MY passion? and take the necessary and well-deserved steps to bring yourself joy through the eye-rolls, sighs of disbelief, excitement, and curiosity. 

Murdoch, Kath, and Guy Claxton. The Power of Inquiry. Seastar Education, 2015.


Vickie Swann is a professional educator that has worked with teachers, students, and families in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America. She is passionate about environmental sustainability, empowering others, advancing competency-based skills throughout the curriculum, and developing compassionate humans.

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04/01/2022 - Bug
Vickie did a great job writing about being passionate about your life She is a great edicator
04/01/2022 - Colorado Kathy
What wonderful insight to help us live and work passionately! So glad to have a small place on your life journey map!



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