Right from the top, let me make it clear – I am absolutely fan-girl obsessed with Steve Irwin and everything that he stood for! My love for Steve is so well known, that as a parting gift when I announced that I was leaving my teaching position, my team went ahead and did this to the staff bathroom:
My love for Steve has very little to do with my views towards Australian wildlife. While I’m sure that crocs do in fact rule, it’s not the bitey reptiles that I’m a fan of- it was Steve’s attitude towards them that I can’t get enough of.
He was a man so fiercely enthusiastic about what he did, that you can’t help but be drawn into his passion. Steve dedicated his entire existence to making the world a better place for wildlife and never wavered from his vision.
Fun fact, the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter was filmed on Steve & Terri’s honeymoon.
Steve was very aware that the key to his success was undoubtedly his enthusiasm for the work that he was doing. Let’s let that sink in for a bit … he was successful because he loved what he was doing. Any money that he made went back in to Australia Zoo, or would be donated to animal sanctuaries around the world. To Steve, money was not the sole indicator of success, opportunities to do more of what he loved was his ultimate currency.
I think the reason that I connect so strongly with Steve is that I get it – I know what it’s like to wear your enthusiasm on your sleeve. I’m passionate about what I do and everyone around me knows it. This personalised coffee mug which was a present from my principal is pretty awesome proof of that!
While teaching, I’ve always used Steve as an example to kids of what is possible when you discover your passion and embrace it with everything you’ve got. Now that I am working with teachers, I like to explore the same idea with these concepts:
Before you were a teacher, you had a DREAM of becoming a teacher. What was it that drew you to this career? What made you submit the application to study teaching? Why have you chosen this path?
What do you bring to your classroom that makes your students truly lucky to be with you? What do you offer a school? What makes you different from every other teacher out there?
Your teaching Philosophy
What are your guiding statements, values and beliefs? What is it that drives you and keeps you focused?
As we learned the hard way with Steve, life is short, far too short to be spending time doing things that you’re not crazy-in-love with. I’m so glad that he was crystal clear about his passion and got to share that with the world. He has shown us that success is not about wrestling things to the ground and throwing top-jaw ropes on them in front of a camera. It’s about your attitude.
Imagine if we were all as enthusiastic about our jobs. Even just one small part of it that really allowed you to be animated, effervescent and passionate.
Imagine if our attitude rubbed off on the kids that we get to work with each day. What an incredible world we would live in if kids were Steve-Irwin-levels of excited to come to school each day!
Enthusiasm is contagious, it’s dynamic and it’s a key way to succeed in life.