Teach & Serve II, No. 1 – Teach Boldly
August 10, 2016
…you have the opportunity, the responsibility to do more and be more. You can animate. You can inspire. You can engage.
The beginning of the beginning is ramping up in schools all over the country. If you’re reading this, you’re likely a teacher or administrator knee deep in preparation, cross checking lists of all that needs doing in these opening days and preparing for these early moments of 2016-2017 as best you can.
May I please make a suggestion? No matter what you do in these initial days, no matter the pressure you feel, the demands you take on, the time crunch you suffer, no matter what you do in these days, do it with as much positivity as you can. Go about your work with energy. Greet students and colleagues and families with smiles. Celebrate the beginning of the year. Be bold in your embrace of all the possibilities it brings.
Let boldness be your home base this year.
Teach boldly. Administrate boldly. Coach and direct boldly.
Let that be your rallying cry: teach boldly.
Students respond to boldness. Colleagues are searching for it. We hear that schools should inspire. They should challenge. They should dare. How do these things happen if we ourselves are not bold in our individual rooms and days and works?
Shouldn’t we want to be bold? Wouldn’t we rather be bold than be… well, what’s the alternative? Timid? Reticent? Fearful?
Those aren’t the descriptors for which our work in education calls. None of them are even close.
Be Bold. Be resolute. Be heroic.
Teachers, your students want to be engaged. Inspire them. Be bold.
Your colleagues want to hear what you have to say. Engage them. Be bold.
Administrators, your staffs want to be led. Animate them. Be bold.
Make this year a year for boldness, for courage, for fearlessness.
Your students, colleagues and staffs need this from you. They hurry from class-to-class, assignment-to-assignment, meeting-to-meeting and running that gauntlet is both daunting and draining. When they come to you, when it’s your class, your assignment, your meeting, you can give them what they’ve come to expect, most often a kind of dull proficiency. You can give them reserved professionalism. You can give them cautious platitudes. They won’t be shocked if you do. They’ve seen this before; they know how to respond.
But you have the opportunity, the responsibility to do more and be more. You can animate. You can inspire. You can engage. While they may not know it, your students, colleagues and staffs are thirsting for this. They are thirsty for boldness.
Teach boldly. At the end of the day – at that end of the year – teaching boldly may be the only kind of teaching that truly matters.