Disappointment comes in many forms and occasionally distracts you from what really motivates you and what your mission is. Integrity, honesty, and an emphasis on creating strong, positive relationships are my core values. The work I've done with folks in various roles in education across Canada and the United States has led me to believe that holds true for most. I've also come to realize that not having control over other people's agendas doesn't mean you can't fulfill yours. My wife asked me the question of this post and it reminded me to get back on course with my purpose. I got into education to make a difference in the lives of students and to inspire and motivate others to want to do the same. I recognize that completion of this agenda may take my entire career bit I'm enjoying the challenge. I asked a group of workshop participants this question: "What would you try to do if you knew you would not fail?" The response to that question might fill your career agenda.
This fit well with the bucket list I read on Shannon Smith's blog (shannoninottawa.com) which had one item - why not create a learning community where each and every student, staff member, and parent discovers their passion and shares it with confidence? Pretty powerful stuff and very much aligned with the values I stated above.
So, why do you do what you do? My recent milestone birthday provided a glimpse into the progress I might be making on my agenda. Some former students took the time to send reflections of their time with me. One particularly poignant one read (in part):
"Best of all, you instilled in us the ability to believe in ourselves and
to believe in each other - even when things looked most desperate."
Thanks Don, for the reminder that every day provides a new opportunity to exert a positive influence. Whenever I start to think about my career being about me and personal accomplishments, I'll remember it's about you and the thousands of other students I've been blessed to work with.