Who inspires you?

This morning I had coffee with a colleague whom I’ve come to admire greatly. Shannon Smith is a VP in our board here in Ottawa.  As I’ve posted before, I find her work, her conversations and her thinking to be a source of inspiration to me as I wrestle with the role of administrator and teacher.  Sometimes I feel guilty that I’m riding on her coattails (but her coattails are awesome!).  She recently wrote and posted on her blog about women in education that she found inspirational as part of her celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.  She’s invited women in education to guest post, and it’s a brilliant way to commemorate the influential women in our profession.

Part of our coffee chat this morning touched on my kids.  Both my kids are hitting milestone ages this year: My daughter Adrienne will be turning 18, and my son Alexander (Alex) is hitting his 16th year (hence the adriander for those of you who follow me on Twitter).  If you do the math (I’m 37), you’ll note that I was 19 when I became pregnant, in my first year in university.  Since then my life, I should say my family’s life, has been unconventional in ways.  But along the journey, I have met people that have inspired me to perservere, to reach, and to grow.  Even more so, once I joined the teaching profession, I found myself surrounded by men and women who have and continue to inspire me and others as we work daily to help kids be successful.  In Shannon’s spirit,  I too am extending the invitation to educators to write about their journeys and experiences in the field of education.  I am excited to hear and share in their stories.

3 thoughts on “Who inspires you?

  1. You do my friend…..and although I’ve said it before, I think it’s worth saying again 🙂

    Funny you mention the guilt of riding on coattails as that’s something I’ve felt this week(end) with you in piggy-backing on your technological know-how to help get me started into this PHENOMENAL world of blogging 🙂

  2. Hi Erin,

    Most of those who inspired me when I was young are gone, but their legacy has contributed to what I have become. None of them were famous people. None of them knew that they had inspired me – my grandmother, with her wisdom, humor and reflection; my rural family doctor, a strong, independent woman in a very male dominated profession of the time; Mr. Coates, my English 8 teacher who wrote on my first composition, “You have a gift”. I have many moments along my journey of inspiration. Not all of us end up with mentors, but passing moments of connection can be equally poweful.

    Interestingly, now that I’m in mid-life, my inspiration largely comes from those who are behind me. I am constantly inspired by what students come up with and what my teachers do for the love of their work. Maybe what Mr. Coates didn’t verbalize is equally important here: “You have a gift (and I am inspired).”

    I can’t say that I’m very often inspired by those who lead. While leaders may be thought-provoking, interesting, and informative, that doesn’t easily translate into personal inspiration for me. I am, and always have been, inspired by authentic circumstance and greater good, and that is simply harder to find when connections are subject to the currency of ambition, politics or self-interest.

    This post has made me think, and momentarily inspired me to respond…. 😉


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