Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mission Statement or Manifesto and WHY it is important

Remembering my WHY, took my career in a whole new direction.

This is what I wrote when I was forced to examine my thoughts on teaching and now, after surviving my first semester as a school counselor, I can unequivocally say that the same is true in my new role. I guess you could call this my professional manifesto (I know, I know, it probably isn’t an actually “manifesto”, but I had to call it something, right? and I personal, saying, "MANIFESTO", makes me feel like a superhero)

Joy is what I was told I would experience in education, and joy is what I found. Joy is what I strive to bring to my classroom and to others in education. Teaching is a profession of design, creativity, and compassion.  It is an act of love and service that is never finished.  It is a series of highs, lows and in-betweens.  It is laughter and tears, heartache and indescribable joy. It cannot be accomplished without understanding and empathy; it is not always easy, but the rewards far exceed the difficulties, and that is why I teach. It is this understanding of education that I hope will be my legacy with students, staff, and the families that I serve. When this is accomplished, my greatest contribution will have been fulfilled.

Now writing a mission statement/manifesto is not the end all to a successful career path, nor is a guarantee of success.  It is however; an act of self-discipline that can be revisited and refined as you move throughout your career.  It can refocus and re-energize you when things get tough (as they ALWAYS do) and it holds you accountable to those things that you have deemed important.  When I first began teaching in 1998, I was so full of excitement and vision.  I was going to change the world, one student at a time.  I remember being full of ideas and I was ready to try anything.  I was like a sponge, willing to hear everything, try anything at least once.  Unfortunately, that excitement was quickly squashed.  I let myself be influenced by others that weren’t filled with the excitement that I was.  I let myself by influenced by people that had let themselves become bitter.  In short, I let others rob me of the joy of teaching.  I had lost sight of my WHY.  I actually said to my husband that I would never go back into education because I didn’t want to end up like those women.  I wish that I had my WHY defined at that point in my life. If I had, maybe I could have focused on it, instead of lunchroom negativity. But I digress...And now I have a tangible reminder of WHY it is that I do what do!

People have been talking for ages about either discovering or remembering your why.  How did you feel, when it all began?  What motivates you to get up in the morning?  Being able to answer these questions have really helped me, but how do you do this?
 There are MANY resources out there, but here are a few…
  1.   FranklinCovey Living the 7 Habits app.  This app has a Mission Statement Builder included and it is super helpful, if you are stuck and its FREE, I love free!!! (The link is for google play, but your can also download at the itunes app store)
     2. Live Bold and Bloom has a GREAT article called, How to Write a Personal Mission
         Statement in 8 Steps.  It has fantastic, practical advice.
     3. Motto has a simple, easy-to-use framework that you can use to jumpstart writing                   your mission statement/ manifesto writing.
     4. Start with Why -  its mission is to encourage and inspire people to discover their WHY
         (now, I have not paid for any of the services that they offer, but I really like the
          motivational information that the website provides)

I am so thankful that  I have a tangible reminder of WHY!  Do you?
Here’s to figuring out your WHY and LIVING it! 
What’s your WHY?  I would love to know 😊

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