Last week I had the pleasure of sharing with 120-plus English colleagues from around North Dakota. This annual conference is always inspiring: sharing new ideas, meeting new people and preparing for the upcoming school year. The title of my session? Inspiration Hour. Being an inspirational speaker is not something I’m known for, but I was excited to share some stories that have inspired me through the years.

However, as the conference proceeded into the second day, I came to the realization that my title was not completely accurate. In fact, that title could have been applied to any of the sessions at the conference. It could even work for lunch periods and breaks when teachers are discussing and breaking down what they just learned. My colleagues showed enthusiasm and a genuine desire to improve as a teacher each day. This inspired me.

It’s nothing new. Teachers constantly visiting about best practices and what they are going to try this year. I heard them reflecting on what to change and how they could incorporate new methods or strategies. I heard one say, “I loved Kelly Gallagher. I just stole everything.” Another said, “I want to create that type of environment for my students.” Many other similar statements could be heard in the halls and it renews my spirit for the upcoming year.

I will admit it. I was worn out when graduation day finally arrived last May. After this conference, I’m inspired and excited to get back with my students and my colleagues.

Stay tuned for:
 “The Bottom Line: Compassion”

Jeremy Murphy is a journalism and English teacher at West Fargo High School in West Fargo, North Dakota. This blog represents his observations from his professional growth in his nine year career. In no way should this be mistaken for advice or any form of professional expertise. If you are looking for an expert in teaching, English and/or life, you are on the wrong site. You can follow Jeremy on Twitter at @mr_jmurphy or email him at jpmurphy@west-fargo.k12.nd.us.