We don't have to wait until kindergarten, 8th grade, and senior year to celebrate our students. We don't have to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week or retirement parties to celebrate each other. In fact, as I mention in my book, my favorite definition of happiness is growth. When we learn and change and evolve, even in small ways, and see others doing the same, it's important that we celebrate. The brain is more motivated by how far we've come than by how far we have to go. Think about that. At graduations, while the future is mentioned and in positive terms, it's the growth that students experienced over the years that takes center stage in the graduation ceremony. From learning how to read, to making new friends, and learning time management in secondary school, we celebrate our scholars for their growth and development.
Kind, Empathetic, Generous
The world would be changed if more of us embodied these qualities. The world would be changed if we could celebrate others more often for these qualities. The world would be more wholesome. Thank you, Eddie, for touching my heart. I left with a mission to make school a place where we nurture kindness, empathy, and generosity. Our students and staff deserve it.
The Hustle & Heart of Teachers
Certainly, there are going to be times when we aren't feeling our best as educators. We are human beings. It's what we do in response to those feelings to get what we need and move forward in healthy ways that matters most. And certainly, there are people who do not embody what we want our profession to be. But take a look around, there is so much good happening in our schools every day, and there are many people who make us feel proud to be educators. Please take a moment to celebrate a teacher for their hustle and heart. They deserve it all and more.
Educators, I see you.
What we look for, we find. It's easy to overcomplicate things in education, but some of the most important moves we make...as I mention in my upcoming book...are quite simple and impactful. The key is quieting the noise, so we can stay close to what matters most. How we feel in the work impact how others feel in the work and all of this impacts how the work actually goes.
Imperfect but Impactful
My upcoming book is filled with stories like this - stories where I learned from mistakes. Because the world needs less shiny, perfect people and more people who are committed to being deeply human, sharing their mistakes, and learning with other people. I'm experiencing big fears the sooner this book comes to publication. What I've had to remind myself is that I didn't write this book so people would think good things about me or my work. I wrote this book because I hope my learning can be of some value to others. It's that simple. I wrote a book that I needed.
Nothing & Surprises
This morning I listened to Tara Martin's most recent episode on her podcast, "Something about Nothing." Inspired by the children's book, "All about Nothing" by Elizabeth Rusch and Elizabeth Goss, Tara talks about the benefit of having "nothing" in our schedule in our work and lives. I was struck by so many of the beautiful... Continue Reading →
Cutting Ourselves Some Slack
There is no perfect person or perfect impact and there doesn't need to be. Think of the people who have impacted you mostly profoundly. Were they perfect? No. Did you care that they weren't? No. You knew they cared about you, believed in you, and supported you.
Kids These Days
One of the best things we can do for students is to spend time being truly present with them. Enjoy them, connect with them, encourage them, grow their skills, and celebrate them. Nourish their unique gifts and talents and help them believe deeply in themselves and their ability to make a positive difference. Our students are our hope. But they need hope themselves. Hope that tomorrow can be better than today and that they will have the skills necessary to make tomorrow better than today.
Be All There
We are allowed to work this way. We might need to do a little work to create systems that make that possible, but we are allowed to work this way. In fact, it's how we work best. Wherever we are, we are at our best when we are all there. Wishing you more moments of peace and presence during this challenging time in the school year. Keep going. We need you.
A Few Lessons from XU Basketball
We are never too young or too low in position to make a positive impact on others. When everyone does their part, the work gets better.