Originally posted by me on Staffrm, this post is about inspiration.
Inspiration. It’s a funny thing. It’s a bit like beauty being in the eye of the beholder. So why is it some people find some things more inspiring than others?
When I work with students I really do like to set a learning hook with them. I like to think of something that inspires them and gets them sparked up for their forthcoming learning. Creative ideas with objects of wonder such as electronics, visualisations, quotes, images, collaboration, spaghetti, paper aeroplanes, origami games and more are all things I’ve used with my students.
I did this recently with my Sphero balls – engaging students by playing with the Sphero balls using a controller to get around an assault course as quickly as possible. The students love these objects of wonder. They’re amazing. They were even more amazed when I ran a program I had created that tore strips off their lap times because I had programmed the ball to go around the course in super-quick time. They had no chance. But they were hooked! And in to coding when they’d had no coding experience before!
Personally I’m inspired a lot by people and their stories. Over the years I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some fantastic people that have inspired me. I have been so very lucky.
I am sometimes told that I inspire people. It’s a really nice thing for people to say. It happened just yesterday for example. I don’t really know what to do with the information when it happens though. I’m always so grateful but I think ‘why me’? What I’ve done over the years when I get nuggets of soul-warming gold like that is to put it in my memory bank. It’s great for when you have down days. When it happens on Twitter I certainly make sure to favourite the kind comments. Like many people though, I do what I do, not for comments like that but because I want to make a difference. I don’t think I’m all that at all. I share a lot because I want to help others. To my detriment sometimes, I always offer help where I can and people ask for it.
I know that my abilities as a presenter have gotten better over the years but I remember my first few presentations talking in front of other adults and I would be a blubbering wreck. It’s taken me a long time to get better and I still need to improve. For me, seeing amazing speakers such as Jim Smith, Dave Keeling, Nina Jackson or Rachel Jones – they really inspire me to be even better at the speaking.
When I read amazing blogs too – they inspire me as well. Reading some of the creative and ground-breaking blogs of some people, move me to develop and change my practice. It’s simply fabulous that people are prepared to share their learning and practice so that others can learn too.
My question to you is, what inspires you to do better for you and for your students and what do you do to inspire students in your classroom?
I saw a bag full of ‘ball-pit’ balls in a colleague’s class today. A definite object of wonder… I wonder if you can work out why he had the balls in his classroom?