I chose this profession but there are days when I question just how much of a difference I am making.
It is human nature to doubt oneself.
I get it.
If you work in the field of education then I am quite certain that you know what I am talking about. We are always striving to improve and we are always trying to come up with new and innovative ways to be better. It is almost impossible to turn the education-think switch off.
Here’s the thing.
We are getting better!
We just don’t always realize it because we can be our own toughest critics. And we need to stop! Towards this end, I have a created a list of five reasons to help remind us why each and every one of us will better tomorrow.
You Don’t Have to Get Better to Be Better
We must always remember that we are part of a whole that is much greater than ourselves. Each and everyday pieces are being added to a patchwork quilt of which we are a part of. Some days we may add a piece and some days others may add a piece. But we must always remember that each day pieces are being added and they don’t always have to be added by us. In fact, we often take more joy in watching others add a piece than we do in adding a piece ourselves. We mustn’t forget this!
Our Job is What We Do, It is Not Who We Are
Because we take our job as educators so seriously, we often tie our self-worth to our jobs. This can be very dangerous and I am often guilty of this. But we must stop doing this! It is okay for us to take our jobs seriously. It is okay for us to put our heart and soul into our work, but it is not okay for us to allow our work to be the only thing that touches our heart and soul. If someone were to look each one of us up in the dictionary they would notice that we are defined in many ways. In fact, educators would rarely be the first definition. We are friends, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and partners, just to name a few. We are not singly defined!
We Are Never Alone
When days get long and times get tough it is easy to think that we are all alone. We are not! And now through apps such as @voxer and @Twitter we are able to stay in touch with each other in ways we never thought possible. So when we have a question, we feel stuck or we just need to vent we must always remember that we are never alone. Many of my tomorrows have been jump-started by waking up to an encouraging vox, a motivational tweet or an inspirational blog piece.
We Made Many Mistakes Today
Without a doubt, we each made many mistakes today and we will make just as many if not more tomorrow. While mistakes are not fun, they do help us grow. It is easy to forget this and play it safe.
Too often we beat ourselves up over mistakes and we forget that this our first time playing this game called Life. We must ease up on ourselves and remember Maya Angelou’s famous words
“Do the best you can you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Something Magical Happens When We Sleep
I am quite certain that each and every one of us is tired when we finally hit the bed each night. And when we finally do get to lie down, with a cool pillow and a comfy blanket, something incredible often happens. We dream the dreams of kings and queens. We can fly and do things that we couldn’t possibly do if awake. We can visit places that we often have only seen in movies or brochures. And we know that once we open our eyes things will not be the same. But then we look down and notice that there is just a trace of fairy dust on our shoulder.
“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
So from now on when you begin to doubt whether or not you are taking steps forward, just remind yourself of the list above and remember that tomorrow you will be even better.
Trust me when I tell you that you are not alone. We all make mistakes and we all doubt ourselves from time to time. If you want some reassurance that you are not alone just take a look at my new book, My Bad: 24 Educators Who Messed Up, Fessed Up and Grew.