Leadership · Curriculum · Lifelong Learning

Why do you do what you do? Why do you care about teaching and learning? What are your personal motives for… anything that you do as an educator?

The real question is all about your motive.

Did you pursue, embrace, and enter education to get something back? I’m not talking financially, but do you still approach your daily endeavors like this? Do you give to others, expecting to get something in return? If that’s the case, pre-service educators–Please do not go in to education.

Something has bothered me for a while. I hope I’m just misunderstanding. Clearly, these quotes must have been taken out of context, right? Or, are we all in it for the wrong reasons? Am I misinterpreting feel-good meme superstorms that are relentlessly raining down on the twitterverse? Do we serve others because we might get something back, like a return on investment?

Our human nature’s inner-self screams:  “What’s in it for ME? ME! ME! ME!”

I believe quotes like these continue to be taken out of context. With best intentions, I assume that these motivational quotes served broader purposes greater than the soundbites for showmanship, self-esteem boosters, and dollar signs that many make them out to be.

More than ever, it’s so easy to interpret our fast-paced world as all about ME. When you read these Give to the world, and the world will give back to you quotes–be careful. How do you interpret them? Which comes first: motive to serve or motive to be served?

_______ Can you think of any more quotes to add?

The truth is that genuine, dedicated, passionate educators give. And give. And give. And give even more. Real relationships begin when someone gives from the heart, with pure motives, without wishing for something in return.

Not everything you see on TV or at the movies is true. Not everything told to pre-service teachers in college classes is genuine. Not all the fluff in any given twitter chat exudes authenticity. Not every story rooted in hard work and heartfelt character has a happy ending. Not every student interaction ends in warm fuzzies.

The truth is that there may be several students, colleagues, families, and communities into which educators will give their whole hearts, and, at times, it may feel like little to nothing is received in return. You may feel like you’re investing your everything, and:

  • Your best efforts may never be realized
  • Your learners may never return to you to thank you for your service
  • You may never hear from your students again–ever
  • There may not be a happy ending
  • ____________________________

And as an educator, you have to find a way to persevere. You have to return to your heartfelt, educator motives frequently. You can’t fake teaching–You have to LOVE it. Parents don’t want their child in a class where the educator kinda likes teaching–You gotta be ALL IN. Your primary goal is to serve students and others.

  • In a ME world, let’s work together to keep our motives student-centered.
  • In an edupreneurial world, let’s work together thru non-profit motives first.
  • In a faster-paced world, let’s work together to slow down for student interests.
  • In a ________ world, let’s work together to _________.
  • In a distracted world, let’s work together to keep our motives pure.


What are your thoughts? Comment here!

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