Passion Yeats

Linking our mission of preparing students for academic, professional and personal success with our passion to do this work provides an amazing sense of purpose.  At the EHHS Community Gathering, our mission was examined along with perception, perspectives, multicultural competencies, conflict management, wellbeing, and passion.  We examined results from a study by Delaney, Johnson, Johnson, and Treslan (2010) entitled Students’ Perceptions of Effective Teaching in Higher EducationRegardless of face-to-face or online format, students said the most effective teachers were identified as being respectful, knowledgeable, approachable, engaging, communicative, organized, responsive, professional, and humorous.  It was rewarding to see that the majority of these characteristics are linked to our shared values and previous group work on reflective practice.

The passion for what we do and the effectiveness of our purpose deepen when mindful steps to promoting wellbeing are taken.  Better approaches to conflict management were presented and Information from Gallup on wellbeing was shared.  I asked you to imagine how the learning/work environment would feel and what we could accomplish if students and faculty were all happy.  To punctuate the moment, I shared a video that was made by Howard University students to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCD4gBNOD28

Building on the positive energy from the video, faculty member were asked to write answers to three questions about passion and then to discuss answers with other members of their program/department; a special thank you to the Counselor Education faculty (and a few guests) for embracing the spirit of happiness by dancing at the beginning of our group activity.  The positive energy in the room was incredible.   Below, everyone’s answers have been organized into common themes for each question.

What drove your passion for getting into your field?

  • Having an impact; helping people; making a difference
  • Caring for others
  • A Teacher (two were inspired to be better than bad teachers they had)
  • Experienced care from someone in chosen profession
  • Passion for children
  • Family influence
  • Life-long learning
  • Childhood dream

What drives your passion in your current position?

  • Seeing/helping students learn; grow; be successful;
  • Learning from or working with colleagues; collaboration;
  • Scalability (teaching a few who will have a positive influence on many)
  • Create positive change in students/clients
  • Strengthen profession
  • Share love of learning
  • Fulfilling a childhood dream

How will you best use your passion for the growth of our students?

  • Model it (sharing own excitement, encourage, engage, inspire)
  • Reflect/improve my teaching/ effective teaching
  • Nurture and challenge
  • Listen/be accessible
  •  Develop relationship/community
  • Respect students
  • Respond with care/caring

The responses above provide give a peek into the depth and breadth of foundational perspectives that created and drive the passion of professors in the EHHS Division.  The topics we addressed during the EHHS Community Gathering, if embraced fully, will allow us to create a dynamic and fulfilling learning and work environment where we can achieve our mission/purpose with passion.

Image (2010). Retrieved February 2, 2014 from: http://picturespost.blogspot.com/2010/12/incredible-fire-art.html