This I Believe

Katherine - Camillus, New York
Entered on July 30, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in being passionate about what you choose to do with your life. For myself, I am a passionate teacher learning to become a building-level administrator and to do it well, I need to maintain my enthusiasm. It is amazing how often I am lectured as to the difficulties of the profession. It is a small wonder that one would actually accept the duties of a position that is constantly being scrutinized by the public. The number of texts citing the challenges of the role is overwhelming. I am no fool as to the validity of these claims as I myself am married to a school administrator. Occasionally, my spirits are lifted as I stumble upon the rare stories of the “successful” principals who have transformed their schools into models for all those in the field to aspire to. I believe that it is fair to state that being an educational leader is a difficult job, unfortunately some principals are so over burdened that they loose sight of what propelled them into this job in the first place – a passion for learning and teaching.

Passion is contagious. When children sense that you are enamored with what you are teaching, they too will be smitten with the power of education. When a principal’s staff witnesses their boss’s zeal in the daily quest for quality instructional leadership, they too will transpire those actions into their own classrooms. For almost 20 years I have been blessed with the opportunity to be included in the education of children. I have been privy to programs that have been touted as the latest and greatest in educational reform. Schools I’ve worked in have been recipients of large sums of money in order to help students meet state standards. I have had the pleasurable experience of learning and collaborating with some of the best and brightest in this vocation. However, none of this makes any difference if the light of the educator has slowly been burnt out by the never-ending list of demands required by the stakeholders. I invite all teachers and leaders to self-assess their passion for their career. If the love of learning and teaching has slowly become extinguished, it is time to move on. How can we expect our children to be life-long learners when those facilitating the process have forgotten why they are there in the first place? I am proud to say that I actually like what I do. And therefore, I believe that passion will ensue.