Muses are the nine goddesses that inspire us in the arts and sciences. Yes, I know that they are not real…but the idea that they exist in our mind or our world is quite fascinating to me.

I love the word inspire. It is so enlightening and ever since I started using it in my work with the arts, it has come to mean so much. To be inspiring is to be like a muse and so I sit here and ponder the use of the muse in education. Join me, if you will…

We are getting into this trap of forgetting what is at the core of education – inspiring students. What does it mean to inspire? Without looking up the word, this is my brainstorm: share, guide, question, stretch, challenge
All verbs and all verbs that connect us to true inquisition and learning.

My friend and colleague gave me a sticky pad with a saying on it for my b’day, “Teachers desire to inspire.” We do! But maybe we forget about that part sometimes. And how can we not??? We are constantly asked to teach from the books we are given, the material that is tested and in a way that is the new rage. When we don’t feel inspired, how can we inspire those we teach? How many teachers are sick of getting the new pedagogy when they know that with a simple change in administration or at least 3-5 quick years, things will change.

What doesn’t change though is our love for teaching, our growth as an educator, our loves and passions that we want to share with our students. We may not get much time to do this, but that needs to change. Don’t you think???

We need to be muses. For our sake, for our students’ sakes and for our future’s sake.

In Response to Mae Jemison talk on Ted.com

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