In education, there is sadness and happiness, periods of progression and regression, and there will be times when we make gains and times when we experience losses. Education is like life in the sense that you will experiences a roller coaster of emotions taking you up, down, and spaces in between. As educators, we must be willing to meet our challenges and be courageous in facing them head on while maintaining a mindset that regardless of the trials, we will get our students to where they need to be and help them to become better citizens. This can only be done by having a deep-rooted belief in the power of serving humanity because ultimately as educators that is what our service is about. Content standards, technology, curriculums, and other resources are simply tools that we use to effectively conduct our work, but it is essentially about our service to humanity that matters the most.
Regardless of race, culture, age, gender, experiences, and beliefs, we all share one thing in common: we are all human. As human beings, we all have basic needs that are widespread and wants that are not always as basic as food, shelter, and water. We share common desires, such as the need to be loved, to receive forgiveness, to be corrected, and to feel as if someone believes in us. At times in education, we can become so engulfed with our schedules, stressors about the job, meeting deadlines, increasing student achievement, instructional practices and more, that we forget the one vital thing that keeps us all connected to one another, and that is our humanity. We are naturally separated by buildings, classrooms, geographical regions, access to resources, academic performances, and ability levels, but our humanity is the tie that binds us all together from the beginning to the end. There will be times when you win and times when you will lose and that is simply the cost of serving others, however, the one thing that you must constantly hold dear, and never be willing to lose is your humanity.
Losing your humanity will cause you to lose sight of your purpose as a teacher or leader and even cause you to downplay your role in serving. To avoid losing your humanity, never make the mistake of putting “things” before people. The most effective educators understand that they are not meant to serve things, therefore, they, serve humanity. Based upon the conversations that we have in meetings and even our casual conversations; we can easily forget we are serving people as our ultimate end goal. As we discuss assessments, curriculum, school systems and best practices, we can never place these things affect the lives human beings, both children and adults. When the conversations center more around things and less about humans, we lose our humanity and when this is done, we fail students and one another regardless of what the test scores may show.
I believe that great schools meet the needs of all students who attend, all adults that work in them, and all the families that put their trust in them. The needs vary from school to school and from community to community, and it creates challenges that are not always easy to define, let alone meet. However, working together to meet the needs of humanity will eventually take care of the things that we sometimes overvalue in education. The stress, pressure, and anxiety that educators frequently feel results in many distractions. When distractions occur, the needs of humanity are not met as effectively as they can be, and people suffer at the expense of the things that tend to have little value in the larger picture of life. Effective educators never forget their responsibility is to human beings and not things. They consider what is important for humanity and seek ways to serve humanity. No matter how difficult the job becomes, no matter how great the responsibility is, never under any circumstance forget that you are where you are to serve humanity.
Written By Naim Q. Sanders
Naim Sanders is an educator, leadership coach, author, and speaker. Naim has over 21 years of experience as a teacher, principal, charter school developer, and education consultant. He has served as an adjunct professor, faculty site supervisor, keynote speaker, and is a published author. Currently he is working to earn his doctorate degree with a focus on School Leadership. To reach Naim, go to www.naimsanders.com, or email email@example.com. He can also be found on social media platforms Facebook (naimauthorpage) and LinkedIn (naim-sanders-4645028).
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