My first article back in August, titled “A Chance Encounter,” was a tribute to the love I hold for my mother and the teaching profession. This is my last article for the My View series, and upon much reflection I decided to write a love letter to honor all my educator colleagues.
Anyone who knows me knows that I do not believe in good-byes, but rather “until later.” The latter phrase signifies a continued bond, and the former renders the end. Until next we connect, I leave you with these words that have shaped my thinking and actions. I live by this motto: “You conceive it in your mind, believe it in your heart, and set out to achieve it.” Wise words ingrained in me by my Godmother.
Educators inspire our students to dream big dreams and to reach for the stars. But many times along the way, educators forget to continue to dream bold dreams for themselves and fuel their own personal passions. What are your current dreams both professionally and personally?
Without first the mental conception (the dream), the physical reality can never be. A vision shows us what to fight for; the mission is the calling that there is a job to be done, and the third step is the action taken to move towards the vision. As educators, we answered a moral calling that goes beyond simply teaching subject matter.
Educators must shape schools into places where every student has access to equip themselves with the skills to fully participate in an ever-changing global society. That preparation includes learning formal subjects such as math, reading, and writing; and equally important are lessons that teach students strong communication skills, acceptable societal behavior, and sound moral values on how to treat each other as human beings. This is our professional mission.
I hope educators will continue to make a difference in the lives of all students, especially those who at times feel unseen, to know that dreams do come true. The true test in being an influential educator is helping students to have happy and productive lives. Day by day, educators plan and deliver impactful lessons, comfort students with smiles to warm their hearts, motivate them, counsel before and after school, attend extracurricular activities. Educators pour their hearts into their work.
While we embody the noblest profession, this cannot be your only dream. If not careful, educators can forget to have their own dreams and take care of themselves, their families, their health, and miss out on healthy relationships with others. Taking time away from the stressors of teaching could be as simple as consistently walking, running, practicing yoga, taking a class, reconnecting with a friend, taking the time to make a healthy meal, etc.
These little things often get pushed to the side, but taking the time to invest in yourself allows you to give more on a greater scale.
“Until later” connects past, present, and future educators in that some of us have already passed the baton or will eventually pass the baton to the next generation of educators to continue to dream bold dreams for their students, each other, and themselves.
I choose to have FAITH; faith is believing in things when everything tells you not to. Faith in the future, faith in my family, faith in myself, and faith that there is a bigger purpose than what I can conceive.
Until later — Shana.
Shana Saddler is a veteran Farmington Hills teacher. For comments or questions, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.