3 Key Considerations:
As Simon Sinek describes in his book, Start With Why, organizations often jump too quickly to the ‘what’ or ‘how’ versus embracing, verbalizing and organizing around the ‘why’. In the world of education, we often do the same which is a missed opportunity. As educators, the narrative of our initial and personal WHY, our inspiration to lean-into this noble profession, is typically pure and fueled by intrinsic motivation. I have seen too much burnout and turnover in education. Carrying your personal WHY in your pocket is a motivational strategy that helps educators navigate the day-to-day challenges that can easily overwhelm you, and it can motivate others. Our students deserve us to bring our best selves and inspiration every day!
Have two versions of your personal WHY. Prepare and practice a long and a short version of your story. The long should include details that your audience can identify with and you short should summarize your original motivation and belief about the power of being an educator.
Your narrative should include an explanation of your personal motivation. If you are a teacher, administrator, or support staff you had a choice at one time. Something pushed you to commit your career to students. Include this pivotal moment in your story.
Include a belief statement about student potential. Students, community, and colleagues will make their own interpretations of your beliefs based on your actions. Therefore, be aggressive and intentional about telling and showing them.