P is for Passion #tlap

I have 4 boys plus one husband who are all hockey fanatics. Eat, sleep, play hockey. My boys spend the better part of their days playing hockey, whether it’s on the little hockey rink that my husband built in the back yard, on the mini sticks rink he built in the basement, or really just about anywhere else where they can find something to shoot around (a ball, a puck, heck even a rolled up ball of tape will do!). We probably have at least 30 mini sticks and 3 full sets of street hockey goalie equipment. They take their turns being players, goalies and even referees. The older two play on hockey teams as well so our weekends are usually filled with at least 4 ice times… which is nothing, wait until the other two start playing! Someone is always wearing at least on piece of hockey clothing, be it a jersey, socks, a shirt, a sweater, pants, a tuque, PJs… we even used to have Jets underwear, but those bit the dust a while ago from having been over worn. Some of you that see us often, or those of you who pick up on details in pictures on social media, might even be wondering why on earth my boys are always wearing the same clothes… I promise you they change and I wash, they just have THAT much hockey stuff. The youngest, Brecken, is obsessed with the Bruins these days. He has two jerseys and a third one on the way from a friend who noticed, simply from Instagram posts, that we might benefit from another hand-me-down Bruins jersey (merci Nicole!!). God forbid if both jerseys are dirty! And then, there’s the Winnipeg Jets, to which we have season tickets with a group. It’s always extra special when the boys get to go on a date with daddy to watch the Jets (or heck, even the Manitoba Moose will do)! Aaaaand, hockey is on TV just about every night in this house. Hat tricks? Yes please! Offsides? We understand how they work! Power plays? Hope it’s for the team we’re cheering for! Breakaways, overtime, and shootouts? We are ready for some excitement!

With my family incorporating hockey in just about everything that we do, you’re probably thinking “It’s a good thing she loves hockey!” or “Thankfully hockey is one of her passions!” But… I have a secret to tell you, a confession to make. I don’t actually really even like hockey that much! Is it fun to watch? Sure. Would I rather be doing something else? Probably.

In his book Teach Like a Pirate, Dave Burgess talks about three different kinds of passions: content passion, professional passion, and personal passion. With these, there is always a way to find passion to bring to our classroom. Even if we aren’t passionate about some of the content that we’re teaching (or the sport that our family is obsessed with), we can pull from our professional passions (our why when we consider what drew us into this profession in the first place) or our personal passion (things we are passionate about outside of education). So, the cat it out of the bag: I don’t love hockey. But what I do love is seeing my kids overfill with joy. I love the time I get to spend with them and the enthusiasm and passion they exude while they engage in this sport. I can pull from other passions (why I decided to become a mom in the first place) while I can also be completely and utterly pulled into the passion that my boys have for hockey. I love how Dave explains this through his “Birds, Snakes, and the Art of Teaching” story in his book and this quote especially rang true for me:

“The man was one hundred percent passionate about his subject. When you interact with someone who is fully engaged and filled with passion, it can be an overwhelming and unforgettable experience. There is no faking it… you can’t “Meg Ryan” that type of passion. Enthusiasm, yes… passion, no.”

With this, pulling from other passions and tapping into my boys’ passion for hockey, it’s easy to get into hockey and continue to learn about it. Just the other night, my husband and I went to a Jets game together and I was quite proud of myself when he missed a goal and asked me who scored – and I actually knew the name of the player! Point for Annick!

I think it’s important to remember that it’s okay to not be passionate about everything that we teach. What is important is to bring the passion anyways; find it from another source, tap into it, and bring it to your classroom. Not only will our students benefit, but it will be a heck of a lot more fun for us, too! 🙂

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