At our district opening ceremonies this week, there were great speeches surrounding the topic “be all in.” Speakers connected the importance of being all in for students, all in for families, all in for our schools, and all in for team collaboration. I think that this is a great topic. I’m totally ALL IN because I’ve seen it make a difference.
But sitting there in the room with hundreds of educators, I wondered: What would happen if we were ALL IN for education? Not just our classrooms, not just our students, not just our schools, not just our district. What could we accomplish if we saved some of our energy so we could be ALL IN as advocates for the profession? What if we were ALL IN with the community? What if we were ALL IN at the state level? What if we were ALL IN at the national level? What if we focused our efforts on sharing our stories, our concerns, and our knowledge about what is needed in education? As Chris wrote last week, the greatest risk we take as educators is when we invest everything in our classrooms and have nothing left to invest in the greater dialogue.
For me, being ALL IN is about life balance. Being ALL IN is about seeing the bigger picture. Being ALL IN is about being informed and reading a lot. Being ALL IN is about showing up every day to love on kids, to push them further, and to encourage their parents to dream big…really big. Being ALL IN is also about stewarding and conserving my energy so that I can influence education outside of my classroom, too. Because I don’t really think that I can be ALL IN for my students unless I am ALL IN when it comes to the future of education.
Overall, it’s not easy being “all in” as a teacher today. It takes a great amount of time, energy, emotion, dedication, perseverance, resilience, resourcefulness, financial strain, relentlessness, and personal sacrifice. But I’m ALL IN and fighting to the end. I don’t really see another choice.