Here is the deal #FireStarters, we are all built to serve. We serve each day with kids in our classrooms and often in our communities as mentors, coaches, and even tutors. As we think about how to compound the contribution that we make, I want you to know that none of us is too young, too small, too…well anything to make a real difference. You know as educators, sometimes we don’t see the change that we are bringing to the world. We only have our students (in most cases) for one year. We don’t get their state test data until the end of that year and it can be many more until our students grow into the people that we know they can be. Even with all of that, I am telling you to keep at it and if you can, add to the work you are doing. I was recently watching a TED Talk given by Natalie Warne. Natalie was 18 years old when she organized a movement that freed children on the other side of the world. A movement inspired by a film a teacher showed her. There was nothing significant about her. She wasn’t from an especially privileged family, born with connections, or sure that she could pull it off..but she did. She did it too because she had teachers who ensured that she could think critically, raise her voice, and understand how to collaborate effectively. I think about Nadia Lopez who set out to open a charter school in a neighborhood that no one believed in any longer serving children that few saw as worthy of investment. I think too about Linda Cliatt-Wayman who turned around one of the worst schools in Philadelphia because it was in her old neighborhood and she felt called to serve. I also think about Adam Foss who uses his platform as a judge in the juvenile justice system to create better outcomes for kids in crisis. We are all in this fight together and while the circumstances for some of us are less than ideal they are most assuredly worth the fight. I don’t know about you today, but I am going to use my gifts. On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service, I am going to have critical conversations with educators. I am going to look for opportunities to be a support and to shine a light. I am going to better my community where I can and raise my voice where I should. In short, I am going out to be a teacher today..on my day off not because I have to but because it is my reasonable service. Be sure you do the same #FireStarters. Each choice we make to bloom where we are planted allows a student, parent, or even fellow teacher to do the same. There are several organizations with projects available to help you get started. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Here is Natalie’s TED Talk for those of you who need inspiration!