Today is the First Day of....

(What? What's the dream?)

…Of what?

That’s something everyone who spends a second in education should think about.

“Of first quarter.”

“Of the school year.”

“Of vacation…”

If I ask a teacher that, they’ll tell me something about the school calendar.

What if I ask what it means for you?

Your goals? Your “real person” stuff outside the classroom?

I have a friend who’s on my top ten teacher list of all time. I used to study her—I taught high school, she was elementary. I wondered “How does she get those kids to do that?” They were little human beings learning organization, reading, courtesy, order…

Maybe she wondered the same thing about me—how I got so many teens to where they needed to be in life—but the point is, this woman’s no slouch. She’s inspirational on social media, 100% energy in the classroom, and a fun human being.

I was talking with her the other day.

“I’m prioritizing ‘this.’” she said. “This…” was her family and her yard. “They’re going to grow up and be gone soon.”

I think of the years I half ignored my kid while I planned, corrected, “got through” to the next marker on the school calendar, ditched him to go to conferences, and checked out mentally for months as a mom because “it’s an evaluation year.”

One day, I asked myself… “What’s ‘this’ for?” Every answer I gave was always for someone else, not me, not my future, not my family… I promised to think about my goals “after (evaluation, the quarter, the year)…”

And it showed.

The finances were a mess because I was spending my paycheck on my job, my little boy was suddenly medium sized then almost big. Years passed and I made no progress.

And I knew, every year was going to be the same—another quarter, year, decade would pass and I’d be right back asking that same question.

That’s when I realized the problem wasn’t me—it wasn’t that I needed to work harder for an evaluation or save one more kid or tool up my classroom for something or prove my value to the world.

The problem wasn’t me, but the responsibility to fix it was mine alone.

I needed to answer the question, “What’s this for?” Then take action, immediately, without delay, and without looking back. Forward momentum only.

“I know what this is for, I know where I’m going… starting (peek at watch) NOW!”

So, today, I challenge you to ask yourself… “What’s all this for?”

You’re not allowed to answer “For the kids.” “For the future of education.” “For evaluation.”

You must answer… for you.

What do you want to accomplish for your future as every quarter, semester, benchmark and year whizzes by?

Once you decide that (and this could take a while!!) , write it down.

Whether it’s “I’m going to pay off my student loans and buy a house.” “I’m saving to go to Fiji after quarantine ends.” “I want to travel every summer in an RV and see the nation…” or “I want the time to do (insert dream sheet of “who’s got spare time, really!” activities here)…”

If you don’t have a plan in motion, let today be the first day of your plan.

Even if your plan feels more like a Jello shot than concrete, write it down. See yourself in that space, doing those things….

It is real.

See it every day, week, and month.

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