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.
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.
From Checking to Connecting
The world will continue to change but one thing will remain: the need for human connection. So, while we learn about all of the amazing things our technology can do to make life more convenient or the ways it can help us tell stories, let's not forget the power of stories told around campfires. Let's not forget the power of seeing and listening to other people during in-person conversations and classroom lessons. That cannot be replaced.
Teacher Guts & Us
Many of us feel helpless right now with the state of the world. We want to make things better. We see a shortage of educators. This saddens many of us who understand that it's teachers who give us hope for this world. But what do we do? While there are certainly systemic issues to be addressed, what do we, as individuals, do to make a difference for educators right now? Quite simply, we can let them know the positive impact that have made on us. We let them know when they are making a positive difference in the lives of our own children. Nothing bad can come from sharing with great specificity the tremendous impact our teachers are making. You just never know if that thoughtful card or kind word will give a teacher the energy they need to try again tomorrow.
To The Ones Who Show Up
I know one thing for sure - it's how we show up for ourselves and each other that really matters in the end. What a beautiful opportunity we have to impact the world through small moments with others. Let's treat others and these moments like they are special. Because they are.
For me, sometimes the best way to feel better is counterintuitive. To give that which I'm lacking. If I'm not feeling wholehearted in my work and not feeling the love, I give love. If I'm not feeling like I belong, I create belonging for others. For example, ensuring equity of voice in meetings, paying attention to how I respond to the contributions of others, and sitting in circles are all small moves for belonging that I talk about in the draft of my book. And finally, vulnerability. Someone has to go first. Sometimes, that someone is you. Whether it be rest or more wholeheartedness in your work, I hope you find it.
Lessons from the Dentist
As George Couros has said, "Change is an opportunity to do something amazing." I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about the dentist, but it turns out that a trip to the dentist was not only good for my teeth, it was good for my professional practice in the education space too. Inspiration is all around us. What we look for, we find.