Today, one of my 7th grade students named Jade asked me, "Mr. Brown, what was it that caught your attention, and you knew that you wanted to be a teacher? Tell us that part of your story."
Wow! Jade blew me away with her amazing question. You see, I've been teaching and working with students for 37 years and I have absolutely LOVED IT!!! In fact, it's not work to me. My students hear me say TGIF but also TGIM (Thank God it's Monday). I love what I've been doing for nearly 4 decades! It's not work, it's my passion.
So Jade, great question! How did I get to this place?
I tell students all the time to not waste their time chasing their hopes and dreams but to do whatever it takes to CAPTURE their hopes and dreams. I'm going to tell you about "The Capture". My capture.
First, I remember being in 4th grade I gave a speech on Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs & Ham.
Man did I have fun! It was a blast to be in front of the class speaking and I guess I was sort of teaching. I loved it!
Next, I remember being asked by my high school English Lit. teacher if I'd like to try out for the speech team. My first thought was, "Boring...No way." Well, I tried out, made the team and began to compete. I was having so much fun and the next thing I knew, I had won a 1st place medal at the Iowa State Speech Competition!
My sophomore year of college, my high school superintendent asked if I'd speak at my former high school. He said, "Michael, I'd like you to focus on motivating our students to give their best no matter what they are doing." Well, I spoke at my former high school and was so blown away and shocked when I received several standing ovations.
That same year I was asked to speak to a youth group at Iowa State University. I had the opportunity to give them hope, encouragement and vision for their lives. And not long after that, I was invited to speak to 33,000 people at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on the topic of leadership!
Now Jade, here it comes! After speaking to that Iowa State youth group, I was walking back to my dorm room and was like, "Oh man, this is what I want to do the rest of my life. I want to teach, inspire, give hope and give a ton of high-fives to students.!"
The fact is, most people will need to work for 40-50 years. So how can you discover what it is that you would love to do for 40-50 years of your life?
Time To Discover You
What are you naturally strong at?
Think about this: Things that come natural to us are usually fun, they tend to be easy and they bring us great reward.
Have you noticed that it's so easy to focus on what's wrong with us instead of what's strong in us? For example, I took a Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment. This assessment helped me to discover what is naturally strong in me as opposed to what's wrong in me.
My top 5 Strengths are:
Positivity--People exceptionally talented in the Positivity theme have contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
Communication--People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
Activator--People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them.
Maximizer--People exceptionally talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
Strategic--People exceptionally talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
So Jade, after looking at my top 5 Strengths, can you see why I love being a teacher? 😀
Recently, I became a certified Gallup CliftonStrengths coach. I'd love to help you discover what's strong in you. "Being your best self means playing to your strengths at work and everywhere else."
1. What would you like to do for the next 40-50 years?
2. What natural talents and skills do you have?
3. What are your motives for wanting to do what you'd like to do for a job someday?
4. What steps must you take to start doing what you want to do?
5. Whose advice can you get to help you along the way?
6.Where do you most need to grow to capture your hopes and dreams?