Monday, January 17, 2011

Remember and Reflect on Your High Calling

Credit goes to Vicki Davis, the Cool Cat Teacher, for inspiring me to write this post. She posted the video below to her own blog this morning, and although I had seen it in the past, I was encouraged to revisit it. I'm so very glad I did, too. As someone who does not work directly with students very often, I need reminders like this to keep me mindful of why I do what I do and help me "keep on keepin' on" during tough or discouraging times.

I think this video is a very timely reminder in the States where we have just begun the second half of the school year. We've just come off of a bit of a break, but now we begin the push into high-stakes standardized testing season. Here in Texas, the stakes are even higher this year because our school ratings will stand for the next two years as our state testing system undergoes a dramatic revision. Adding to the stress right now are stories of the looming Texas state budget shortfall and school districts who are already making plans to reduce their teaching forces in the coming school year.

In multiple ways, it's a tough time to be an educator.

It's times like these when we need to remember why we are educators and why we got into education. We need to remember our students aren't just statistics on the next round of tests and our colleagues can be resources whom we can lean on. We need to remember, too, that every member of the school community - students, teachers, administrators, support staff - needs to encourage their peers as well as one another.

We need to remember our high calling.

Many of you here in the U.S. are off today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Whether or not you are from the U.S. or you worked today, take five minutes to relax and refresh with the video below and allow it to recenter your focus on what is important.