Updated: Oct 9, 2019
“When you know your why then your what has more impact, because you’re working towards your purpose” – Michael Jr.
If you know me, you know I am pretty goals orientated. Once I have my mindset and the time to do it, I can crush any goal I set for myself (humbly so). This includes graduating college, moving to various cities, buying my first home, becoming an Assistant Principal, getting my master’s degree, and making Black Teachers Travel come alive. By being so focused on my goals, I found myself caught up in what I was doing rather than why I was doing it. So, I recently decided to do something unconventional. I decided to step outside of my typical norm and pause my work goals to focus more on my personal and intrapersonal goals, which would allow me to engage in self-care. For many of the people around me, this was a shocker, and some were even scared. Still, I felt it was the best decision I could make for me, and so far, I was right. However, I failed to realize that focusing on my personal and intrapersonal goals would lead me to do a complete 360. Let me explain how…
As a 22-year-old girl who witnessed multiple school closures, including my elementary and high school, I knew I needed to be a part of education reform, working against the system I felt failed me and so many others. Now, do not get me wrong, I was privileged because some several teachers and administrators believed in my ability to do great things. Thus, they poured a lot of energy and time into me and gave me access to several opportunities that served as bandaids to a larger systemic issue. But I digress… After seeing this firsthand, I decided to join Teach for America in 2014, which led me to the city that would open its doors and allow me to teach some of the most amazing students, New Orleans.
Here I am, 5 years later, doing a complete 360. I am now a part of Teach for America's staff and planning my first Black Teachers Travel trip to New Orleans. So, I am here to say that your why, meaning your purpose, probably will not change. But sometimes your what may change. So I challenge you to stop asking others what they do ask, and instead ask them why they do whatever it is that they do. You may change someone’s perspective and remind them of their purpose in this world.
Educators give a lot of themselves, and we must continue to check in with each other and remember our why not our what. I hope we can do some of this reflection together during our New Orleans trip from December 26th – December 30th, and I hope you can join us! It is not too late.