I believe I read a quote at some point that said “If you try to make everyone happy then you’ll never make anyone happy.” As I constantly evaluate myself and place myself under the microscope, I am really that kind of educator that is all in. I am always thinking and doing something supports my professional role. It’s like I live and breathe this educator thing. As if I was an educator before I was even born…and once I was, everything I did, good, bad or indifferent, led me to this point.
I remember my first grade teacher who had supreme influence on me while I was a student in her class. I also went back to her classroom every day after school through fifth grade, to help her if she needed it. When I was off to middle school, I would still make it a point to head back to the school to help her in whatever way that I could. As a high school student, I began to track my volunteer hours since that was such a big thing and quite frankly I’d been involved a lot anyway. I went back to help her yet again, and upon graduation, was recognized as a member of my graduating class with a tremendous amount of community service hours. So this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned that little anecdote, but it is still a relevant piece regarding why I stand here in this position today. I grew up with high expectations, or in other words, those around me expected much from me. That said, as an educator, my expectations are also high, as it applies to those in my area of influence.
I do my best to check my intentions to ensure they are always genuine. In other words, I try to ensure that my actions reflect an awareness of self and a focus on others. I have come to realize that even when actions are genuine, the actions don’t always please everybody. As an educator, it’s not so much about the quiz or the project or the school year as it is about life, character and responsibility. So my actions, beliefs and overall philosophy is driven by this premise. Perhaps it’s a “bigger than me” mentality. It’s not about me, but it is about the lives of the those within my reach. And thus, I am always focused on who those people are or who they will be, not the here and now.
The truth is that not everybody will agree with you, believe in you, take the journey with you, or even support you. Whether that means family, friends, colleagues, administrators, parents or even students, trials come that they might make you strong.
However there was a reason this “thing” all got started, and thus there is a reason why it should continue. Obstacles, opposition and trials truly are all a part of the journey and I have come to know that by design, they are tasked with making us better. I would never have known the strength I had to get through something had that something never challenged me or came my way. You realize who you really are in the face of opposition. Opposition can of course come in many shapes and sizes. But I’ve learned to put the opposition under the microscope too. There are times I’ve asked myself “What’s in it for me?” But the more I live, the more I realize that “Perhaps there is something I need in the opposition.”
Philosophical at best, this post is just a reminder (to myself too) that even though there are times that we question why, and criticize ourselves (guilty), we can’t stop moving. Funny that the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey is in my head as I finish this post. I almost titled the post that way. 🙂