I hope the weekend has been treating everyone well. Mine has been interesting to say the least, I’ll start with a little story. On Friday I received my copy of Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess and it was so inspirational and amazing I couldn’t put it down. I read it into the late night and wrote up a TLAP lesson almost immediately. I went to bed feeling great but then something very unusual happened the next morning. I woke up feeling great once again followed by my wife and son and then 10 am rolled around. I received an email that really brought down my morning. It wasn’t anything really serious but it was that little piece that really takes down your attitude and with it your inspiration. Well, my wife and son soon followed suit and the three of us had to get out of the house. We wanted to get away from the disappointment and went to visit our nieces. If you read my previous posts yesterday, you will see they inspired me to write a great Teach like a Pirate lesson that others have already contacted me about doing it with their classroom this fall. Well, that little feedback started getting my inspiration sparked again and by 8:30 pm last night I was putting so many lessons together that my phone almost exploded with email and tweets that I had to go dark because my son didn’t want to go to bed due to all of the excitement generated by my lesson and project creations.
The next morning, I woke up feeling very inspired and after church I was asked by one of our Sunday school teachers if I could teach once a month for our 1st through 2nd graders. I was feeling great being asked this and I started talking to some of our teen members and they were talking about a TV History project they had to do for school and I thought of a great way to take it to the next level. Inspiration was hitting me hard and just when I thought I was done for the day, we had to pull by a friend of the family’s childhood farm home. We recently had some horrible storms move into Illinois on Friday and the area was hit hard, many people had their homes and property damaged. We went to our friend’s childhood farm and started cleaning up the debris and down tree pieces that thankfully didn’t destroy anything. I was walking through the back yard by the forest area and another thought hit me and I thought about three more lessons that I will be writing about later today for teachers. What I’m trying to get at is how I went from having almost no inspiration to having it reignited and then just took off thanks to family and friends.
Dave Burgess wrote about how you have to not let bad situations and personal opinions deter your teaching but it still happens. I have to say, that email yesterday just really brought me down with a: “can’t this just be done with already” attitude. I really was wondering what was going to bring me out of it and then my niece Hanna sparked it again. We as educators know we are going to have situations we can’t control and why many of us can brush problems off sometimes our inspiration is just diminished and getting back or at least back to peak areas sometimes takes an army to get going again. However, in the last 24 hours I found out its the simpler things that can spark it again and then set your inspiration on fire. My nieces and my son started it but I have to say when I was sitting there talking to the kids at my church and especially when I was walking through the back areas of the farm picking up branches. My inspiration really just exploded and that’s when I remember the old Walkabout plan. For those who don’t know, Walkabout is when you keep walking until you run into yourself and find the answers you are seeking.
Since I was 8 I have had a lot of Walkabouts, the biggest ones were in 2008 when I had to do one through my comic books that lead me to writing my book. Again in 2010 when I was hit with unemployment with a wife at home, a baby on the way and living my in-laws and just had to walk the neighborhood with no one around that made me write an incredible paper for my Master’s program. It takes walking a familiar or an unfamiliar path to get your inspiration going. You don’t have to look far, whether its through your favorite comics or playing basketball with your family. It just takes one spark to get your inspiration on fire and once it does let that fire keep burning and start writing down your ideas and lessons that come to you. It will bring about some amazing ideas that will help you transform your lessons and make you and your students better learners.