Sometimes educators get to a point in their career when they have to remember their "why." Why are you doing what you're doing? Why are you in your exact job at your campus? Why did you choose to be in the profession you are?
I like to think back to my why often and reflect on my purpose. I remember back to college when I had my heart set on being a doctor and even graduated high school a year early. I can recall working at a daycare and realizing I wanted to be a part of kids' educational, emotional, and social development. I fell in love with education working at an after school program in Wichita Falls and from that point my heart was instantly attached to education.Being in a school literally feels like home, it's my happy place.
Being in education takes a lot of work and a lot of love. That's why it's always important to remember why we do what we do so we don't get lost in our frustrations and growing to do lists.
Often, when we question why we are doing what we are doing, it's during those trying moments. When you feel you didn't do your best, you're facing tough issues, or you don't feel the "magic" you used to.
This may sound silly but something I started doing my first year teaching was keeping a "happy box." I still have one to this day. I have stored past boxes in our attic but try to go through them every once in awhile. Every time I received a kind note, card, drawing, or letter from a student I would add it to my box. On rough days or in moments I questioned if this was where I am meant to be, I would read through my "happy box" and quickly remember why I do what I do.
This may not mean creating a box for you, it may look different. But I think in education, it's important to be reminded why we do what we do. We all have rough days and moments in our lives where we have to stop and reflect on our why.
Education is ever changing and so are the issues we face but one thing is always constant and that is we have a big job to do. Our purpose is to motivate, inspire, and open a world of thinking to students. There are sometimes obstacles in our way but when we have the passion and drive to create the best schools and classrooms for our kids, we are unstoppable.
So, whatever it may look like for you (a happy box, a mentor, a special letter from a student), remember your why. You were created for a great purpose!