Tuesday, 23 August 2016

What is your Why?

Today at our staff training we watched the Ted Talk given by Simon Sinek about the Golden Circle. We then took a few minutes to reflect on our own "why" as educators. I wanted to share with you today my why...

At a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher. While my friends were dreaming of being ballerinas, princesses, or a vet, I was playing school with my stuffed animals. At that age I was inspired to teach because my Mom was a teacher and she was my everything. Over the years this dream did not fade, but rather it grew. There have been some very defining moments in my teacher journey, and the one I am going to share today is my "why."

When I was a teenager I babysat for a family of five boys. Dad traveled a lot and Mom was barely holding on. One of those boys had difficulty connecting with his peers at school, felt like the forgotten child, and hated learning because it was very difficult for him. One afternoon I stood over him helping him learn how to tie his shoes. After many failures and frustrations he finally got the bunny around the bush, into the burrow, and pulled tight. The excitement in his eyes was contagious. He jumped, cheered, danced, and hugged me so tight. You see, his Mom kept buying him Velcro shoes. Most of his peers had already learned how to tie their shoes and the constant frustration was hard on this Mom of five boys.

At first I didn't really understand. After hours of failures why did he keep pushing himself to tears? In this day and age the boy could have just kept wearing Velcro shoes, and when he got older he could just tuck in the laces which was the fad at the time!

Then it hit me. It wasn't about the shoes, it was about mastering something. It was about determination and conquering something that had defeated him over and over. So that afternoon everything in the house stopped while I sat with him and instructed and encouraged him. There was nothing more important in the world than to cheer for this boy so he knew that he could do this and that those shoes could not defeat him anymore!

That's my why! I teach for those A-ha moments when a child's eyes light up because he "got it", they learned something new. I teach to inspire kids to greatness, but in order to get to greatness you have to conquer the shoes! I want my students to know that there is always someone who loves and cheers for them even when no one else is cheering or if the task at hand seems so trivial like a pair of battered laces.

So tell me...what's your "why"?

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