Thursday, April 14, 2016

5 Questions to Figure Out Life Purpose of You + Your Students in 5 Minutes

“What do you do?” If you’re an innovative educator, the answer, “Teacher” doesn’t come close to giving others insight into your work or life’s purpose. As educators we also need to start speaking about our work in a way that brings respect back to the profession. That calls for a more complex answer than “teacher.” Fortunately, movie producer Adam Leipzig tells us during this TED Talk how anyone can explain what they do by sharing their life’s purpose and he gives five questions to figure it out.  



Here are the five questions to figure out your life’s purpose.
1
Who are you?
(Your name)
2
What do you love to do?
(What is the one thing that right now you feel supremely qualified to teach other people.)
3
Who do you do it for/serve?
4
What do those people want or need that you are providing for them?
5
How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?
(The answer to this frames your life purpose)


Here are my answers:
Who are you?
Lisa
What do you love to do?
Help people find people or resources which can help them learn or do what they care about.
Who do you do it for/serve?
Parents, teachers, students
What do those people want or need what you are providing them?
To find and/or pursue their talents, passions, and interests.
How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?
They become connected to a global network that will foster learning and growth in ways that they find important.
Then you put it all together:
My life’s purpose is to help parents, teachers, and students connect to a global network that will foster learning and growth in ways that they find important.


Now it’s your turn.  Answer these questions and, if you’d like, share what you came up with in the comments.  .


We can frame this for students too. Let’s look at this video from Armond McFadden when he was in middle school:
Talent Profile: Armond from Lou Lahana on Vimeo.
(Note: You can try yourself by answering the questions from other student talent profiles here.)


Here are possible answers Armond might have:
Who are you?
Armond
What do you love to do?
Make videos and take pictures of busses and subways.
Who do you do it for/serve?
Mass transit workers and those interested in mass transit.
What do those people want or need what you are providing them?
To know about the latest innovations in mass transit.
How do they change or transform as a result of what you give them?
They gain insights about the latest in mass transit options and are able to discuss and evaluate the pros and cons.  


My life’s purpose is to capture pictures and video that help transit workers and transit lovers gain insights, discuss, and evaluate the latest innovations in mass transit options.  


How often has someone spoken to about your life’s purpose? How often have you discussed this with your students?  For me,and most of the alumni with whom  Adam Leipzig attended Yale, the answer was never.  So what do you think? Is this something you could do with your students?  And, what about you? What’s your answer?
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