Tuesday, March 21, 2017
What's Your Why?
I don't know how other schools do staff meetings, but ours are before school. One hour before school to be exact. This means that on staff meeting days I have to get up earlier than normal, drop off the older two kids at school, and then get to my staff meeting on time. Not my normal routine. It's fine, it's just different than the normal routine of getting the two little kids to school. To say that I don't enjoy waking up early on these staff meeting days is a bit of an understatement. I'm more of a night owl than a rooster.
This morning was no different. I dragged myself out of bed and through the morning "stuff," finally arrived at school a few minutes later than I had planned (darn that early morning drop off at the middle school). I slid into a seat just after my principal had started the meeting. He was actually just introducing a funny Gerry Brooks video (and if you don't know who he is you need to stop and Google that name right now...go ahead...I will wait).
Anyway, the heart of my principal's meeting today seemed to be celebrating our passion. He started out by sharing some nice notes from staff that were on the staff shout out board in the teachers lounge. He followed that up with an email from a parent that thanked the teacher, administration, and the whole staff in general for taking care of her child. He was deliberately building us up. He was reminding us to look past the things that aren't so great about teaching (the paperwork, the angry notes, the behavior struggles, etc.) and to look at all the good things we are happening around us every day. He shared a conversation he had with two friends who said they wished they had jobs that mattered and made a difference. He reminded us to remember why we chose to teach; to think about why our jobs DO matter. He reminded us that we can all go home at the end of the day and reflect on something that we did to make a difference to a child. After all, that's why we do what we do.
Every one of us in that room chose to teach, not because of the money, the fame, the vacation time, the paperwork, but because our passion is helping children learn. It might be because of some stellar teachers we had in school who inspired us to be like them. It might even be because of the not so stellar teachers we had in school who we wanted to do better than. We all have a different "why" but all those reasons led us to the same place...teaching children. We all share that passion.
It was a wonderful reminder this morning. It's a reminder that many of us, if not all of us, needed to hear at this point in the year as we count down the days until spring break and a much needed rest.
So, I challenge you today to think about your "why." Why did you choose to teach?