Today while walking, the song "Lift Me Up" by Christina Aguilera came on my iPod. I don't mind saying that this song gets to me every time. It was featured on the "Hope for Haiti" telethon as a way to raise money for Haiti.
Today it struck me completely differently. As a person who is the beneficiary of being lifted up a LOT recently, I started to think of ways to lift others up.....and I don't mean in a 'right a check' sort of way, which I have also done. But really, shouldn't that be my mission now, my life's work?
As I walked further, I realized that I think it has always been my number one mission in the classroom....and oh, how I have failed so many times. But there are times when I have not....and those collectively are the memories that keep me doing and loving what I do. You see I am FAR from the perfect teacher. I have never won any awards, I am never the subject of graduation speeches...but none of that matters really, I have NEVER wanted my work to be about me. Every single day, I return to the classroom and try with all my heart to build something....build someone. It is exhausting work, but work that I love.
After I got home, I really thought about this concept more. Thankfully, my Internet was temporarily down and I was unable to instantly find the clip I wanted and start bashing away on the keyboard (it's funny how those things happen). I came to this...What if ALL education made it their mission to "build them up"? I am telling you what an absolute revolution that would create. What if the Superintendent saw it as his/her job to build up the principals and the teachers? What if the principal saw it as his/her mission to build up the teachers and the students? What if every classroom teacher would carry that as their personal mission? Too much of education is about blame and treacherous behavior. Trying to catch teachers doing something bad...judging...defining a person by a test or an observation.
Dream with me! What would everyone become? I am thinking about my friend, Peter H. Reynolds and the entire FableVision Learning group (whom I 'work' for part-time leading an educator program)... What draws me to them is that as people, as humans, their goal is lifting people up. What a glorious world it is. There's just love and hope. I can't tell you the number of times that I have personally sat with tears in eyes, watching these people work absolute magic with others. Much of the truly magical things have been behind the scenes and things that no one (but me) will ever know.
So, although I know I have much work to do. So many roads to travel inside myself and outside. My number one personal mission is to build people up. I can't change school...I wouldn't even know how to start. But, I can change me.
Watch the clip....be swept away in it... Dream of what life can be if we all life each other up. Thanks to all who have had me on your shoulders lately....My heart is filled with love for you.