A year and a half ago, I was offered the opportunity to leave the position that I knew could change the world. That was an incredibly difficult offer to comprehend. What would I be doing? Who would I be working with? What would my impact actually be? I had to do a lot of reflecting, crying, talking, pondering, walking, reading, and crying a bit more before I decided I had to take this new job. The thing is that I went into education because #KidsDeserveIt and I knew being in the classroom could help ensure that they were getting "it" when they were in my care. Upon reflection, I realized that this new position simply expanded my opportunity to make sure that kids were getting "It" across our whole district.
The chapter that impacted me the most was "Everyone Needs a Cheerleader." (Chapter 10). When I was in the classroom, I was that cheerleader for my students. I smiled, I laughed, I listened, and I pushed. In my new role, I need to remind myself that the teachers are now the ones that I need to cheer lead for. So many lines in this chapter apply not only to the work that we do with our students, but also the work that we do with each other as adults. I substituted "teachers" in for students in these quotes to demonstrate what I mean.
- Teachers will push you emotionally, fight against you, and test you. Why? Because they've been let down so many times in their lives that they think if they push you hard enough, you'll walk away and give up on them, too.
- We have to figure out ways to build up and champion our teachers - to let them know we love them - no matter what.
- We have the power to tear down or build up the teachers who walk into our lives every day.
I have a different role now than I had a year and a half ago, but I need to have the same mission. This week I want to cheerlead. I want to start my day with a positive interaction with a staff member to support the work that they are already doing. I want to lay a deeper foundation of positive support, in hopes that it supports the more challenging conversations that are bound to pop up throughout the year. At the end of the day, teachers are my students, and #TeachersDeserveIt.