Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Giveaway Results: Educators Reveal Their True Passions

For this week's giveaway of Gary Vaynerchuk's book Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash in On Your Passion, I asked you to answer two questions: What is your passion?  What would you spend all of your time doing if you could only make enough money doing it?  Here are some of the best responses, including the winner:

Kate, a high school math teacher shares a perspective that I wholeheartedly agree with:
My passion is simply being with students. I am a high school mathematics teacher, but my favorite parts of the day are when students come in just to share life with me. I love connecting with my students and building relationships. It is the greatest feeling when a student feels safe enough with you to confide in you. It breaks my heart to think that some of these students do not have good home lives. Some may not have someone in their lives who cares about them or asks them about their day because they truly want to know. If I can let even just one student know that there is someone who cares about them and wants to invest in their lives, then that would make me the happiest person. Students are able to achieve so much more and have more motivation when there are people in their lives who care, and it is easy for some to fall through the cracks and go through life unnoticed.

I have no idea what the job title for this would be, but that is my passion. I do get a lot of opportunities to connect with my students since I am a first year teacher and still young enough for them to feel like I am on their level. And I love going to work to see my students. I also come home and share so many stories about my day. Life with students in it is full of joy, surprises, and very fun!
Nate, a middle school math teacher in a rural area had an interesting perspective as well:
Two years ago we adopted our son from Haiti. Traveling to this country is truly a life changing experience. My passion is trying to find ways to help the people of this country any way I can. It really is a place you have to visit to understand the challenges the people of that country face. I think what I am trying to say that I want to make people aware of others and believe that it is human nature to help people out. That is what I try to convey in my students I see everyday! COMPASSION for each other, no matter our differences.
Both of those answers were great, but the winner is Tracy, who has amazingly ambitious ideas to grow a business that's much more than just after-school tutoring:
If I could make enough money doing it I would build The Tutoring Spot into a tutoring company that serviced the high risk youth in Washoe County and beyond.  I would not just tutor them or teach them, I would work independently of any state or national agency and teach them to learn.  I would have the time and opportunity to develop comprehensive lessons that will engage even the most unengaged students.  I would develop Freedom Writers groups to help engage students in English.  I would build practical math groups that would teach students why they need to understand math and science, and would build lessons around the things they need to know.  I would be able to develop a curriculum based on each student’s need rather than on funding requirements set forth by people who have never met my students.  I would keep all my services affordable to all members of my community, and offer scholarships to needy students.  The scholarships would be offered by local businesses with a desire to see the level of education in Washoe County improve.  I would work with the school district, but not for them, to improve our educational ranking from the bottom and bring it up, slowly but steadily, until our students were performing at the levels I know they are capable of.  I would grow The Tutoring Spot to reach areas outside of our local county and touch lives of students all around.  And I would do this for all students, not just those whose parents can pay hundreds of dollars for initial tests, only to be told how many hundreds of dollars the actual tutoring would cost.  I would offer this service to all in my community.
Congratulations to Tracy.  Stop by next week for another giveaway!