- You are essential, and you always have been.
- You are essential because you change lives. And despite everything going on, you still work every day to help your students.
- Think of just 3 of the people you have connected with recently. Reach out to them, and ask them how YOU can help THEM.
This year, the world has asked more from teachers than ever before. Right or wrong, expectations are unreasonable and probably seem impossible. And right or wrong, that’s not changing any time soon.
Because the truth is: Pandemic or no pandemic, the work you do is important. NO, not just important. It is ESSENTIAL.
You see, you’ve always been essential. We just use that word differently now. But you have been.'One day you’re going to turn around and see a big pile of happiness, of purpose, of fulfillment, of all the lives you have impacted….all the lives you have changed.' - @jeffgargas Click To Tweet
You are essential.
You’re essential to the future of your community.
You’re essential to the future of our country.
You’re essential to the future of this world.
You’re essential to the millions and millions of families who now realize just how difficult it is to guide their children through their learning journey.
You’re essential to those of us parents who realize that understanding 3rd grade math enough to teach it to a 9-year-old is damn near worthy of a Fields Medal.
Or those of us that have recently found out that the English language makes no sense and every rule has 3,000 exceptions, and explaining it to a 6-year-old is about as easy as explaining quantum physics to…well, me.
You’ve always been essential. Not just now. Not just because of a pandemic.
You’ve always been essential to kids.
You’re essential in the life of those kids in your class who have no one else looking out for them.
You’re essential to that kid who needs a little extra time to discover their true potential.
You’re essential to that kid who always excelled and is now struggling and needs to know it’s okay to stumble or fall, because that’s when we learn the most.
You’re essential to that student who needs to know they can follow their dreams, even when the world tells them they are silly or unrealistic.
You’re essential to that student who no one else believed in, but you know has what it takes to be the first in their family to not only go to college, but to EXCEL there.
You’re essential to the little girl who has been told she’s not supposed to be a scientist, or an engineer, or a CEO, or the Vice President of the United States.
You’re essential to the little boy who is dealing with the realization that the world looks at him differently because of the color of his skin.
You’re essential to all those kids who have been treated differently because of the way they speak, or picked on because of their sexual orientation, or outcast because of their gender identification, or judged because of the religion they practice.
You’re essential because kids need you.
You’re essential because you change lives.
I tell ya what, that sure sounds like a whole hell of a lot of responsibility, huh?
Yep…it is. It is unreal, often unrealistic, and sometimes unfair, the responsibilities you have and the expectations the world puts on you.
That’s a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders. That’s why we need each other. And we need each other now more than ever before. We need each other because the world needs us. They always have, but they need us even more right now.
Things are starting to look better, but we still have a ways to go to get through this pandemic. And after we get through it, we still have a lot of work waiting for us, fixing problems that have been there long before COVID-19, and preparing kids for a world that continues to change and become increasingly challenging.
Yep, we have A LOT of work to do…still. Don’t try to do it alone. You don’t have to.
Professional development events, networking events, online communities, social media….these connections, they cannot end there. They can’t end with a like or a follow. They can’t.
I challenge you. Use these events, these platforms, communities like this, and build authentic, genuine, REAL relationships so you have people to lean on, people to turn to, people to join forces with to take on the massive responsibilities you have.
So here’s my challenge: Think of just 3 of the people you have connected with recently. Reach out to them, and ask them how YOU can help THEM.
And then follow through and actually help them first.
If you do that, and I mean really do that, two things will happen:
- One: You’ll get that warm feeling of helping someone else.
- Two: It’ll come back to you.
I had a mentor when I was young that used to tell us, “If you focus all your energy on helping other people, one day you’ll turn around and there will be a big pile of cash behind you.” At the time, I was young and in sales, so he was trying to motivate us with money. As I got to know him better, and the type of man he was, and as I continued to grow and look at life differently, I realized the “pile of cash” he was talking about was not necessarily cash. That “cash” was happiness, it was purpose, it was fulfillment.
That’s why you do what you do.
That’s why you get up every morning and go to work, even when a lot of people don’t appreciate it. Even when a lot of people don’t understand it. Even when a lot of people don’t respect it.[scroll down to keep reading]
You still do it. Because you want to help kids. You help kids.
And when it’s harder than usual, when it seems impossible, unrealistic, unfair…just remember: One day you’re going to turn around and see a big pile of happiness, of purpose, of fulfillment, of all the lives you have impacted….all the lives you have changed.
Because you are essential. Essential to kids.
I hope you know how much we appreciate you. I hope you know how much we love you. And I hope you know we are here for you. Please continue to reach out if you need anything.
I appreciate you.
About Jeff Gargas
Jeff Gargas is the COO and co-founder of the Teach Better Team, and co-author of the Teach Better book. Prior to co-founding Teach Better Team, Jeff was the owner of ENI Multimedia, an online marketing firm, where he worked with entrepreneurs and small businesses, assisting them with web design, social media, content marketing, and brand awareness.
Prior to all of this, Jeff was an adjunctive professor at Kent State University and spent 10+ years in the music industry. He has spoken at conferences around the country, and has successfully promoted more than 500 events and launched 7 businesses in a variety of industries.
Jeff is passionate about music, and enjoys spending time with his family as often as possible. He is also a member of the Teach Better Speakers Network.