ASPIRE TO INSPIRE
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I wanted to climb mountains, travel the world and make a difference. I wanted to share music, fall in love, and raise a family. I desired the chance to taste the world’s foods, laugh from my belly and cry from my soul. With each of these responses, there was one unifying idea: I aspired to inspire.
I have spent the last 10 years as an educator -- accomplishing many of the previously listed goals. My class became a place of sharing -- one in which I learned at least as much as I shared with my students. Though there were admittedly many times in which I felt inadequate or that I failed, I always strove to learn from any challenges that I faced.
“WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A TEACHER?”
This question is often asked at least partially in disbelief. Education is a field that has faced a great deal of scrutiny in the last few years: standardized testing, NCLB, Common Core, reduced state funding, reduced local funding, data monitoring, data gathering, data data-ing, and so forth.
Regardless of these roadblocks and issues, my answer has remained resolute:
“I aspire to inspire. ” — scrawled on airplane napkin
Every choice that I have made keeps this foundational goal at its heart. From my original choice of subject — English because we could have discussions and examine our place in the world — to grade level — high school, of course — to my difficult decision to transition out of the classroom — inspire teachers who can inspire more students! — everything has returned to this notion.
Even away from education, this idea guides my life as a father, husband, Christian and friend.