We've had one of those "headline" weeks here in our neck of the woods...you know, the weeks where I'm checking the news sites every half hour to see what has developed and Mr. Wood has no idea what is happening until I fill him in at dinner. Those weeks are kind of thrilling for me, in a sense, which makes me wonder what kind of person I am...that someone else's heartache becomes excitement for me. Well, that's a blog post for another time, I suppose.
So, anyways, the headlines here involve school employees (not in our town, but close by) allegedly doing illegal things with their connections as school employees. A school official was quoted in an interview saying something to the effect of..it's about the kids, we just hope they are learning (my paraphrase). This part of this particular interview is what struck me, and it sent me on a thought path that really has nothing to do with the week's headlines, but here it is...how does a person forget that school is about kids learning and growing? I'm certainly not above forgetting this, and I could list times when I've forgotten my purpose and calling due to a misguided line of thought on my part...that I need to prove myself, be the best, rise to the top, get my way, or what have you. So, I'm not coming at this from a position of perfection, but rather from a position of asking the question, "what can I put in place in myself to protect me from going there, from forgetting that school is about kids learning and growing and becoming?"
*I don't want to ever think that my career is more important than the kids in my posse learning and growing in the best possible way for each of them.
*I don't want to ever think that treating children with disrespect and unkindness for the purpose of making me feel "in charge" and powerful is ok.
*I don't want to ever think that I can cheat the system to make me or my kids (my own or in my classroom) look good to others and not in some way damage myself and the kids in my care.
*I don't want to ever think that appearing to have it all together while lying to myself and others about who I am is more important than being real and honest and full to the brim of integrity.
*I don't want to ever think that there is only one path (that looks mysteriously like my own path) for kids to be successful.
*I don't want to ever think that I can be the kind of person I wouldn't want my own kids becoming.
*I don't want to ever think that being an educator means I can do whatever I want and not deeply care for and invest in the lives entrusted to me.
So, how do we keep from getting off track? Just like in every area of my life, I think the best chance I have is choosing to do the next right thing every single moment. If my littles aren't seeing an example of giving, kindness, integrity, honesty, love, and excellence in me, then I need to stop and re-evaluate. Education...educating...modeling how to live in the best way...if that's not what I'm doing, then I really should go be a barista at Starbucks (which, might I add, IS on my bucket list).