Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a quote lover. For some reason, I connect to other people's words. They seem to be able to eloquently give life to thoughts and aspirations that I can't seem to put in to words for myself.
On this day, we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. - who to me is one of the most inspiring leaders of our time. As I searched some of his famous quotes this morning, I struggled to find a favorite. They ALL spoke to me in one way or another. And so, this post was born. I am going to share some of his quotes that speak to me in terms of education, life and leadership. I hope you find some connection as well.
If we are educators, we are "servant leaders". We entered into this line of work for one reason. To help kids. This profession is one of care giving and that is what we do. For me, this "servant's heart" is just a part of me. In my every day dealings, I am always looking at how I can help others. Two of the easiest ways to do this are free. We can serve others with our words and our time. Words have power, let's use that power for good. Let's be encouraging, helpful, lift up others and be that light house.
Our words can also ask questions. Let us use those questions to serve others. To learn about and connect to them. To find out how to support them. Rephrasing a simple question such as "Do you need help?" to "How can I help?' may just be the difference someone needs. We then must actually listen, hear and act. We can use our time to show up for others. To walk along side to share, behind to push or ahead to pull. Whatever is needed at the time, but just showing up matters.
To me...integrity is number 1. It is saying what you do and doing what you say. It is shown through your actions, especially when no one is looking. It is either who you are or who you aren't...you can't fake that. The true you eventually comes out.
Most people can look like the "hero" during easy and good times. Integrity shows up in how you deal when times get tough, when you fight for things that matter. When you stick to and fight for your core purpose-that is what drives you. THAT is the true measure of you. Integrity matters.
Our jobs as educators is to help mold those that sit before us. Will we help shape students with our content or with our culture, our communication, our commitment, our care? I believe our job is to help students navigate the waters of life. We can use our content as a vehicle, but I think we are doing our students a disservice if we leave out the life skills that they need to succeed. We need to guide students to be creative critical thinkers rather than passive consumers of information. What will they do with the content they are given? Beyond that, we need to model and instill empathy, kindness, caring...good character. Let's create tasks where students can practice it all. What problems do they want to solve? Why and how? Let's have them start from an empathetic heart and move on from there. Character matters.
There are many roadblocks in education and in life. But we can't let those roadblocks stop us from achieving our great. We can't let those roadblocks stop us from helping students achieve their great. There is always a starting point. Find it. Just start. Always keep moving forward. If you need to crawl around, jump over, leap onto or knock down that road block...just do it. It's better than not moving at all. As you start moving forward, you begin to see new possibilities and new paths...it's amazing what can happen if you just keep going. Moving forward matters.
Change is hard, but change is here...always. What do we do with it? Do we ignore it, do we fight it or do we use it as a catalyst? Even better...do we create it, when we see the need for it? Any way you look at it, there will be some struggle. It is through these struggles that we can change for the better. It's all in how we frame it. What if we look at change as an opportunity to learn and grow? Growing pains are part of life, but we can endure them...we can do hard things...we always do. So let's use those struggles, that pain to stretch ourselves for good. Flip the switch and pay it forward. Take that learning and growth and use it in life to help others along the way. Perspective matters.
This post is just a stream of consciousness of all the things that float around inside my head. I guess it all boils down to the fact that YOU matter and what you DO matters. We are given this life, let's choose to live like it matters, because it does!
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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