Two weeks ago I became President of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers. I am humbled to be part of the leadership team. During our retreat this past summer, we began going through strategic planning. One of the exercises was to establish our WHY. In other words, why do we do what we do. If you have not read Simon Sinek, you need to do so.
We spent time watching his video (take time to watch it) and were asked to develop a personal WHY and a WHY for our organization. I gotta say, this simple exercise was important for me!
WHY do I do what I do? WHY do I spend time developing lesson plans, doing workshops, writing this blog (although I know I don’t write as often as I should)? Because I believe students are born to be scientists and that is where we, as teachers, come in!
I do what I do because I believe we, as human beings, were born with the need to find answers. To learn, to question. Inquiry is part of how we were designed. In order to understand this world and protect this incredible gift we have been given, we must ask questions. Just as gardeners cannot cultivate beautiful harvests without an understanding of the connection between the properties of soil and the needs of plants; we cannot protect our natural resources unless we understand those very resources. It is this simple desire to inquire for answers that essentially drives science.
I believe children need a teacher to come alongside them and teach them how to grow a garden instead of just planting it for them and allowing them to watch. I guess this is why I write my lesson plans with detailed steps-because I know teachers who are novices to teaching science might be fearful and might not know what to do. I simply provide the outline and sample questions to get them started. I don’t know about you, but when I am learning something new for the first time or putting together a bookcase, I want detailed directions! I know many people do not. But again, this is WHY I do what I do. I know teachers are consumers of curriculum instead of designers. I happen to not only love science, but love designing curriculum. Crazy as it is, I love it!
I don’t do what I do for money, fame, or where I think it will get me next. I do what I do because I want teachers to take my ideas and use them as a springboard for something even better! I want all children to learn with a sense of wonder and excitement.
There is my WHY. Why do you do what you do? Whether it be homeschooling your children or running a business, tell me why you do what you do!! Go Science!