When asked who was or is my most inspirational colleague, and why? I immediately thought of the quote by William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Honestly, it would be hard to single out one person as being the most inspirational, as there have been many that have inspired me on my journey as an educator. So instead of identifying one person, I will identify the one quality that inspired me at the start and continues to inspire me today.
To inspire means to make someone want to do something or to cause a certain feeling or emotion which often compels you to do something. Like the quote, it lights a fire. As an educator, the most inspiring colleagues have been, and continue to be, those teachers that are close to or eligible for retirement but still have the passion and drive of a new teacher, only more experienced and knowledgeable. No sign of burnout there. Those teachers make students look forward to school and motivate them to work to potential. On colleagues, the effect is the same. They make you want to grow professionally and you look forward to collaborating with them.
I hope that as I go about my day, I inspire my students and colleagues as much as others have inspired me.