Great teachers are on mission. They’re focussed, in one way or another, on the business of changing and challenging another person’s life with wisdom, knowledge, and new skills.
Burnout happens fastest when teachers fall out of mission, and instead get sucked into systems and administration.
Effective teachers never forget that they exist to impact people. Not things.
I love teaching. LOVE IT. I wake up at 5a.m. every weekday to do it, and you know something? When I finally get my eyes open all the way, I can honestly say I am excited about the day ahead. Teaching is part of my mission. What about you?
Know Your Mission?
It’s hard to be on a mission if you don’t know what it is. Mission statements are not just for companies. Mission statements are not stuffy constrictive documents that are done once, framed in glass and stuck up on your wall. (Well, you got me: they often are.) But real mission statements, PERSONAL mission statements, are to help you focus on being on purpose every single day of your life. No wasting.
Not sure you have a personal mission? Try getting energized around it by listening to this podcast. (Look for: Personal Mission Statements with Dan Miller. You’ll have to scroll down a bit. Please listen. Do. Apply. )
Enemies of Mission
You. If you don’t know what your mission is, you can’t live it. And if you don’t take time to figure out what your mission is, you can’t live it. Catch that? ONLY YOU can figure out what your mission is. Nobody else can do that for you.
Systems and Administration. Administrating the learning process (reports, grades, standards to meet etc.) are part of the teaching equation. But they must never BECOME the teaching equation. If you own/operate a school and you’re reading this, I think part of our mission is to make administrating the learning process as easy and teacher friendly as possible.
If you want to say goodbye to your top teaching talent, by all means drown them in reports and administrative duties. I guarantee you that you’ll have them in doubting their calling in a matter of weeks or months.
Instead, focus on providing fast, intuitive, and meaningful ways to meet administrative requirements. You can. You must.
Teaching is about teaching. It’s not about administrating the teaching.
What are you doing to be on Mission today?