Happy 2015! I cannot believe another year has come and gone! It seems each year gets faster and faster.
This morning as I was stalking, I mean reading all the posts on Facebook, I came across one that intrigued me. Instead of writing down resolutions, come up with with one word that becomes your “theme” for the year. Simple and something I can do!
In thinking about a concept that could be my theme for 2015, I kept coming back to this word-inspire.
Inspire is defined by our good friend Webster to mean the following:
- to make (someone) want to do something: to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create
- to cause (something) to happen or be created
- to cause someone to have (a feeling or emotion)
Researching a little more, I found the word comes from Middle English from Anglo-French and Latin. The Anglo-French word of inspirer and from Latin inspirare. Break the word apart and you have in + spirare (which means to breathe).
In essence, when we inspire someone, we can think of it as causing him or her to breathe in an idea triggering something to happen.
Let me take a moment and share what inspired my theme. My inspiration came from my own children. Last night we binge watched our favorite show-Mythbusters! Hour after hour we were glued to the TV. The longer we watched, the more curious I became. What was it about the show that kept my children from playing their brand new Xbox? When inquiring minds want to find an answer, they just have to ask the question!
Their answer really didn’t surprise me. As my 14 year old daughter so elegantly put it, “Because they take real world problems or questions and they find answers to them in fun and creative ways!”
BAM! Finding answers in fun and creative ways! No one lecturing to you; no one handing out a worksheet; just really interesting questions like do the 20 minute cat naps we see on the seasons of Deadliest Catch really help?
Now I know you may be reading this and going I can’t make my classroom like Mythbusters. They have an unlimited budget and don’t have those darn end of year tests!
I believe classrooms around this country can be inspired by science. Those darn state tests are based on standards. Standards simply outline what we must teach. What we must teach is based, at least in science, on what students need to know and understand in order to go to college or to be literate in the world. We have to stop thinking about standards as isolated pieces and bits of knowledge. Facts like heat can cause objects and materials to change is important for students to know, but if they never have a chance to apply it to something, it means nothing.
Teaching science does not have to be a major production either. Sure there is some work involved in gathering the necessary materials. But in the end, the engagement and excitement from the students makes it all worth it.
To change, we have to be willing to do something different. Hopefully this blog will become a place to find inspiration this year. To get you to step out of your comfortable place. I am excited about this year. Excited about the possibilities. Time to INSPIRE my friends!