Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why Do It?

Why do I do what I do? This seems like the logical question of an examined life. But it is one tough booger to answer. Today I had the opportunity to answer some of that for myself at a professional level.

I had the opportunity to assemble a packet, remix a powerpoint, combine photos and decorations and travel to Columbus with 3 kids and 2 other adults. We got to share at a statewide conference about a reading festival we did last year themed Rock 'N Read. It felt like a burden for the last couple weeks (but it's all about perspective.) It really was a lot of extra work--hours of work stolen in 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there.

Enter the perspective shift. I watched 3 of my former students explain and share their perspectives on the experience. I wanted to step in and say the things I thought grown ups wanted to hear, but I realized that I got to do that in the packet and decorations. Now was my chance to let them shine with independence and expertise. This is why I did what I did, and continue to do it.

It's not about pleasing other adults or making myself look good (Those do consume plenty of energy, too) But why do I do it?. . .It's all about opportunity and empowerment of my students. Some of this occurs in mundane and repetition work so that they can gain confidence. And sometimes there are days like today when kids are put at ease by my presence and take the stage.

Why do you do what you do? What oozes from you into the world that can change a heart or lift a burden or empower a student?

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