You know, when I first started teaching almost 20 years ago, I would never have defined myself, or members of my profession as courageous. When you think about all the jobs that require courage…be honest…teaching is NOT the first one that comes to mind. Although I believe that there are other jobs that would fit the idea of courage more handily, I submit that there are lots of every day moments that teachers engage in that require them to be courageous. I would not define myself as a shy person. I love to be around people, experience new things, share my life with others. Coming from a large Latin family has prepared me for lots of loud, loving experiences with others. Crowds don’t really phase me. So, when I came home from a recent teacher’s convention and read many follow up posts on #findingyourtribe, I started to think about how I could help others to #findtheirtribe. The thing I think that KEEPS teachers from finding where they belong is a lack of courage. I humbly submit that for those of you who feel like you are ‘shy’…you ARE courageous! You just don’t really embrace it! Let me explain. There are so many day to day ways that we embrace the idea of courage and we just don’t see it in that light. You know what we do? We MINIMIZE it. We TOSS IT ASIDE. We act like it’s JUST WHAT WE DO. Guess what. If everyone could do it easily…everyone would…and we do what we do…every single day!
I don’t know about you…but it takes courage to sit with a parent and talk about their child’s retention. It takes courage to tell them that their fighting at home is impacting the child at school. I know I’ve had to do it. I didn’t WANT to…but I did. I know some of you have to. We embrace all kinds of at-work challenges…changes in curriculum, administration, class size. When children don’t come one size fits all, we’re mandated to make square pegs fit in round holes…and you know what…we rise to the challenge every year…because we have COURAGE!