I remember being in second grade at Westside Elementary, a school in the district where I currently work. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Euler, and everything she said was, in my opinion, golden. She taught me to write in cursive, which was a BIG deal in my little world! Mrs. Euler did much more than teach me content. I owe her so much, because she is partly responsible for where I am today. That year in Mrs. Euler’s classroom, a flame was lit. I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to be a teacher. I was fortunate to know by the time I was seven years old exactly what I wanted to do with my life. No one in my family had ever been to college, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be a teacher like Mrs. Euler, and I had to make it happen. I had a little fire in me early on which was fueled by incredible teachers and my parents. At the age of seven, I was in pursuit of a dream.
My student teaching assignment and first teaching position were in the very building where my dream began, and Mrs. Euler was still teaching there. She supported me through my internship, interview process, and during my first three years as an educator. I was a new teacher who had a fire within me, and she, along with many others helped to ignite that fire as I grew in my profession. Many years later I became an administrator in the building where I currently serve as assistant principal. When I was assigned to Eastside Elementary, the first thing I did was view the faculty list. To my surprise Mrs. Euler’s name was listed as a Kindergarten teacher. I had come full circle with this woman. She was my second grade teacher, a mentor, and a fellow teacher. I now serve as one of her administrators. Full circle…she still teaches me, and helps me stay true to who I am. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside a person who helped me realize my dream of educating kids. She has a fire within and after many years, it continues to burn wild for her students.
After sixteen years as an educator, my fire has only just begun. I am certain some find it annoying, but as I tell my own children, “Those people can unfollow me!” I am proud to say that I am ON FIRE! I am on fire for my profession, for kids, for teachers, for relationships, and so much more. Everyone should be in this state of mind. The fire within keeps me inspired and striving to inspire others. We should all be on fire for something. Educators must be on fire for their profession, because kids and their families cannot afford for us not to be! Let me fill you in on the secret to being an educator on FIRE by keying in on five traits. There are many qualities of leaders/educators on fire, but these five are the traits which drive me each day.
Educators who are on fire never stop. Even days when they are not “feeling it”, they press on and remain steady. They are persistent and unyielding in nature. Kids need us to be relentless daily. Relentless educators are never sorry for their persistent nature, and for doing what is right for kids. BE RELENTLESS.
Educators who are on fire are overflowing with passion for the profession itself, and more importantly, for kids. They show passion for everything they teach, even if the content is something they do not like. They use their personal passion to fuel their profession, and allow everyone around them to see it. Passionate educators never hide their strong emotions for why they do what they do! It shows daily. BE PASSIONATE.
Educators who are on fire are bold in nature. They take risks, and are not afraid of failure. Bold educators see failure as an opportunity to become better, and model this for their students and colleagues. Boldness requires putting yourself out on a limb and being exposed, but educators on fire know it is necessary in order to achieve excellence and become better at what they do. BE BOLD.
Educators who are on fire are continually pursuing. They dream big, and chase dreams until they become reality. They pursue excellence for each student and for themselves, and do not stop until it happens! In other words, they are RELENTLESS (see the pattern?) in nature. The moment they achieve something, they move on to the next goal and begin pursuing it! STAY IN PURSUIT OF DREAMS!
Educators who are on fire wear their hearts on their sleeves for kids. They are not afraid to let it show, because being vulnerable is part of building relationships with students and families. Sometimes their hearts become broken because they are so exposed, but the risk is worth the reward. All heart educators are all in for kids, and no one doubts that about them. They are known for it. It will become their legacy. WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE FOR KIDS.
Mrs. Euler was relentless, passionate, bold, in pursuit, and all heart. I am so very thankful I had a teacher with those traits. One of my greatest blessings is to see her in action with kids and families today, still possessing the traits of an educator on fire. She won’t stop. She, along with many other amazing educators in my life, keep me motivated to NEVER STOP. I am relentless. I am passionate. I am bold. I am in constant pursuit. I am all heart. I am an EDUCATOR. I will make a difference, and use my fire to ignite these traits in others. This will be my legacy. Thank you, Mrs. Euler.