As that young man so aptly stated, people want to be a part of something important. So, how can we foster that same sense of interdependence and interconnectedness in school? How might we create more opportunities for people to work hard in areas that amplify their strengths? What would happen if students were inspired to work hard at something they love during the school day?
So, the next time you feel really happy in your work, pay attention. Pay attention to who you are with and how you're going about the work. Somewhere in the middle of all of that is your joy. Your joy is your gift to our profession and now more than ever, we need people walking in their light and their goodness.
When we listen to the educators who are working closest to our students every day and allow their insights to inform planning for professional learning, the plan gets better.
In my first year in that role, I asked for some feedback. One of the high school principals said in so many words (and kindly), "It feels like we come to these meetings and talk but never take action." Cringe. I'm a doer! They expected, as they should have, that if they were going to be out of their buildings, the time would be meaningfully spent making decisions and getting things done. I'm glad I took that summer to learn as much as I could about meetings that get things done AND grow us.
My challenge to all of us is this: get the rest you need to come back stronger. Get the rest you need to see others more clearly. Get the rest you need to challenge your limiting beliefs more honestly. To be relentless in your pursuit of cultivating environments where others can thrive. Where you can thrive.
There is a lot about the world that is really hard right now. Small words can restore hope. Small words and small gestures are big. They are especially big for our students.
When I close my eyes, I find peace in remembering the sounds of the ocean...moreso than in the sounds of other people's affirmations.