Teachers: Authors of Opportunity

I know it has been a very long couple of weeks for me. I’m sure some of you would agree. Many of you are gearing up for or already knee-deep in state testing, some of you are drowning in the daily demands of education, some are dealing with students who may just not want to be there. Sometimes, in these very long, arduous weeks, it’s important to remember how necessary we are to the future of our students.

In my opinion, teaching is the most important calling on the planet; our daily fight ensures that some kid–somewhere–can get a better job, support his/her family, live a happy/healthy life. Patrick Briggs, AVID State Director, said, “We, as teachers, are affecting the trajectory of the lives of children who have not yet been born.” WOW! Just pause and let that sink in for a moment. “We, as teachers, are affecting the trajectory of the lives of children who have not yet been born.” Think about the chains you have the power to break. The cycle of abuse and neglect and poverty that may end because you were someone’s teacher. Because you cared. Because you came to school even when it was hard. We cannot take that responsibility lightly.

This truth is both wonderful and harrowing. As difficult as it may be, we cannot allow ourselves to be discouraged by the daily grind that comes with this profession–something I am sure we are all guilty of at one time or another. No doubt, it is easy to let the hard parts of the job drag us to the depths of frustration and despair–especially in today’s educational world. With so many outside influences seeking to attack our profession, it’s difficult to remember the important things. The feel-good things.

Our students are counting on us. Their children are counting on us.

When I am feeling particularly down and exhausted, I try to remember what George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, said: “If you gave me the option of seeing the world or changing it, I will take the latter.” Me too, George. Me too. Is it hard? Sure. Is it worth it? You better believe it.

So today, even when it’s tough. Even when you want to throw in the towel…

Be a breaker of chains. Be an agent of change. Be an author of opportunity.


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