Assuming we have accomplished the Herculean task of convincing ourselves that it is ‘we’ who are the variable in the equation that needs to change, the question is often, “How do we start?”
I believe that we must first completely establish our ‘Why.’ Grab your favorite microphone or hair brush, get up close to the mirror and ask yourself,
“What’s my personal philosophy that guides what I do?”
“What can people expect from me?”
“Why should people count on me to educate their children?”
Was that easy? Did the answers flow and feel good? Or, did you find yourself just trying to pass the interview? If teaching is not you living your passion, then your students, their parents, and your colleagues will all feel it and will all know. Eventually, it will wear you down and create a great deal of collateral damage along the way. David Kelley, in “Creative Confidence,” calls this ‘looks good, feels bad.’ In essence, getting the title, ‘Teacher’ along with the salary, benefits and prestige, “looks good.” Who wouldn’t want the summer off, the money, the pension and the benefits? If, however, it is not your passion; if creating learning experiences isn’t the thing that drives you, it will “feel bad.” It’s that nagging tension that you car pool with each morning on the way in. It’s the reason the staff room is more comfortable than the hallway full of students.
Get your ‘Why‘ well established. You can’t embark on the journey of change unless you have this done. Make time to reflect on these questions regularly. Capture the evolution of your personal philosophy and credo. It will motivate you and validate your work.
Now, look in the mirror and ask,
“Am I committed to making the changes I need to make?”
How do you know if you are committed? Check out “Step 2.”