Education has become an extremely challenging profession. Expectations from the state and federal governments seem more and more unrealistic and unobtainable. Limitations set on educators can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair.
I’ve seen teachers jump from district to district because they fail to realize the challenges facing us are coming from sources outside of the district. Unfortunately, they fault the local school district for the challenges, not realizing it’s coming from outside sources.
In any case, regardless of how challenging our profession has become, we are still charged with educating children. Regardless of whether we agree with expectations placed on us from the federal and state governments, we still must produce students who are career and college ready. I’ve thought about this challenge many times in my career and wondered, “How do we get past the obstacles set before us in order to help our students?”
It takes an enormous amount of grit, passion, and determination to make it in this 21st Century world of education.
Educators must have the grit to see obstacles, find creative ways to get around the obstacle and continue to make a difference in the lives of our children. We have to accept when we’re knocked down by new rules, regulations, and limitations, and then get up and find a way to overcome the obstacle. We cannot get knocked down by regulations and then give up, throw in the towel, and say it’s just too complicated or too hard or too unrealistic for our students to achieve the goals set by others.
Having passion helps with grit. If your passion is to see each and every one of your students succeed, you’ll find the grit to get it done. Passion will drive you to dig deep and make it happen, no matter what. Passion drives you to think creatively and identify innovative ways to meet new expectations in education.
Determination goes hand-in-hand with grit. When you are determined to succeed, you do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. If you are determined that every student in your classroom will read on grade level, you will learn how to differentiate your lessons in order to reach all students. You will push past the thought to want to continue teaching the way you have always taught… in order to better meet the needs of your students.
Educators, find your true passion and determine to work with a high level of grit to ensure learning for all of your students…no matter what.
Paula Patterson is a former principal who shares practical points on the principalship.