As I was finishing up Sir Ken Robinson's book, "Out of Our Minds," I reflected a lot on his discussions about helping students understand their passions. I liked his notion that being good at something does not necessarily equate to passion. Robinson explains, “Being good at something is not enough. Plenty of people do things they are good at but do not really care for. Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do. One of the signs of being in your element is that time changes and an hour can feel like five minutes” (227). Robinson shares a very valuable lesson that we should teach our students to understand. We want our students to not just be good at their job, but to be happy doing it.
There is nothing more rewarding than those experiences in life, in which we feel that only a few minutes have passed, but really hours have gone by. In these moments, we are having fun and doing the very things we are passionate about. I want to direct my students to find their passions; yet this is a hard job to facilitate, and I am still learning how to achieve this goal in my own classroom. I often find myself trying to think up ways I can not only help my student figure out what they love doing and are passionate about, but also find ways to guide them towards college majors and career paths that align with these passions. While a huge task, Robinson provides a method for achieving this goal: "The best strategy is usually to put people in situations and give them challenges that reveal their abilities; some of which they may have been unaware themselves" (228). I could not agree more with Robinson. In order for us to figure out what we are good at and whether or not we like it, we need to physically be put in those situations. I relate this strategy to my own experiences with teaching. The teaching credential program through CSUSM has immersed me into the field of teaching. While teaching has been at times, very difficult; I have had the best experience, because I am learning how to overcome challenges everyday. These moments where I overcome difficulty, such as the struggles of building a writing unit or managing classroom behavior, for example, has helped me realize the abilities and strengths I never knew I had. Further, my experiences teaching reveal to me that I really am passionate about teaching. I know that if I wasn't, I would have already given up months ago!
This program is so beneficial to students, because Academy Intern really makes a huge impact on the important decisions students must make in their senior year. I think it is great that many students go through Academy Internship and gain confidence that they are in fact passionate about the work they completed throughout the semester. These students go on to colleges that have majors that aligns with the line of work they completed. Further, these interning students are ahead of the rest of their classmates when they finish college, since the internship provides them with actual field work experience that they can put on their resumes. What an opportunity! What I value even more about this program, other than its ability to guide students along their chosen path, is that it also guides students away from careers that they wrongly thought they would be passionate about. While it may be disappointing for a student to learn that they are not actually cut out to be a nurse or a computer programmer like they had envisioned, students save a lot of time and money that they would have wasted if they were not given this unique opportunity. Without Academy Intern, many students would probably have gone on to major in that field and years later have to make either a major switch or career switch.