Do you remember when you decided that you wanted to become a teacher?
Did you know from an early age, as you conducted roll call with your stuffed animals and a tattered composition notebook? Did a coach or teacher inspire you so much that you wanted to provide a similar experience for others? Was it your own personal love of learning that inspired you to pay it forward?
We are inviting you to recall your decision and remember your original why. This why is key to cultivating and recultivating your passion for teaching. It is very likely that you have added to that why over time. By now, you have stories and evidence of your impact. You understand that you are not just supporting children in the moment, but you are also cultivating lifelong learners.
“I loved how fun all the curricula was! It was fun to teach, which meant it made it fun for the students to learn. I was able to really get into the character of a scientist working in a laboratory and play it up to make it engaging for the students. It was a blast!”
—Sara C., Teacher, Camp Invention Instructor
Over the years, our National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) team has had thousands of conversations with inventors who continue to make their mark on the world. In these conversations, particularly with NIHF Inductees, many of them speak highly of influential teachers throughout their lives who have helped shape their journey to invention.
NIHF Inductee Marshall Jones, inventor of the industrial laser, often speaks about how his fourth-grade teacher changed his life. Additionally, many of our other Inductees credit their teachers for encouraging them to not give up, and continue to pursue their dreams. Jones is just one of the many NIHF Inductees who want you to know how thankful they are for your work as an educator.
"Camp Invention was life-changing from the start. I decided to change my librarian career to a middle school STEM teacher due to Camp Invention's curriculum and module. I truly believe in their program and cannot wait for our next summer camp!"
— Stephanie W., Gateway to Technology Instructor, Camp Invention Instructor
We know that you have been a lifeline and a source of stability for children and families during what has been, for many, one of the most challenging times of their lives. Navigating ambiguity is an important skill to develop, and you have enabled children to do so safely, in a supportive manner.
As we recognize the constant outpouring of your efforts and energy, we invite you to take a brief moment to reflect on your why.
You’ll need paper and a pen or pencil, as well as a comfortable spot to sit, think and write. Jot down or sketch your answers to the following questions:
- What made you decide to become a teacher?
- What has been your most joyful moment(s) in teaching?
- How do you sustain your energy for teaching?
- What might you do more of to cultivate joy in your teaching practice?
- What is a positive message you can share with yourself about your why, in moments when you might forget?
We hope that you will continue to take time to reflect on your teaching journey, as you offer your gifts through your profession.
We will never be able to thank you enough for the selflessness, flexibility, bravery and tenacity that you have shown over the past year. We can, however, remind you that you are making a difference and that you might be the very reason for the development of the next form of transportation, the next communication breakthrough or the next piece of biomedical equipment that saves millions of lives in the future. The possibilities are limitless because your commitment, efforts and energy have been limitless.
"The campers were so excited and engaged the entire week. On the last day they were sad for the experience to end. It was a great reminder about why I entered the field of teaching and reinvigorated me for the year ahead."
—Susan J., Teacher, Camp Invention Instructor
If being playful, making, creating, designing and building came up for you during your reflecting, we invite you to consider joining us this summer to instruct for our latest Camp Invention program, Recharge. We look forward to helping you remember your why.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Education Team