Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Who's Hungry?

As the holidays are fast approaching, family, friends, and food are likely on the minds of many.  Oven-roasted turkeys, savory side dishes, and delicious desserts will fill our tables and our bellies as we gather in the upcoming days and weeks.  The sights, sounds, and smells of the holidays heighten our sense and make us hungry.

In education, we see a different kind of hunger--the dedication and drive to do more for our students. Recently I served on an interview committee as our team worked to fill a teaching position in our school district.  While we had lots of qualified candidates, some stood out from the crowd.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The educators that are so engaged in the conversation that the passion is just oozing out of them.  Their enthusiasm and eagerness is simply contagious.  They are filled with knowledge and ideas that they just can't contain.  They ready to teach--just show them to their classroom.  They're HUNGRY!

When it comes to decision-making time about the interview candidates, I conveyed my strong beliefs about the candidate who had risen above the rest. Motivated. Intelligent. Passionate. Energized. Creative.  Hungry.  

In my opinion, the hungry candidates wins out every time.  It is their insatiable hunger that continues to propel them forward, not just in the interview process but throughout their careers.  They go on to become teachers who are always striving to better themselves, improve their instruction, and provide a relevant learning experience for their students.  They are willing to take risks, push the boundaries, and think about the possibilities.  The hungry teachers keep current with technology while looking ahead to see what's coming.  They recognize the importance of collaboration and engage in a network with other hungry people.  They pursue opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.  

In keeping with the food theme, here are some characteristics of hungry educators.  They show us that they want to FEAST:

F- Forward-thinking
E- Eager
A- Authentic
S- Smart
T- Tireless

While these may not encompass all of the attributes of hungry teachers, the list provides a starting point to describe the go-getters that we need in our schools.  So, as we head into Thanksgiving and into the holiday season, maintain your momentum and push yourself to seek out new learning for you and your students.  Surround yourself with other creative thinkers.  Start a new collaborative project. Do something to feed your desire to improve as an educator. Stay hungry!