I think of this word and I think pain, rejection, frustration, and FAILURE. As I grow as a teacher leader there are times when I could let defeat consume and define me. As educators we experience highs and lows, that impact our practice, and most importantly the students we serve. It’s imperative, as educators, that we don’t allow defeat to take root and weaken our profession.
A spoken understanding in my class is that students don’t have to be perfect; they don’t have to be “right”, they don’t have to have all the answers, but they must TRY. This trying, and the “Power of Yet”, helps build a culture where defeat can’t thrive. When everyone is working to learn more, try more and do more, there isn’t room for defeat.
In a time of negative rhetoric surrounding teacher pay and teacher shortages, it is easy to feel defeated.
I implore you to not let defeat live within your class, your site, or networks.
Below are strategies I have used to ensure defeat doesn’t have a place to live.
1: Believe in the “Power of Yet“:
- Using networking, sharing your story, and shoulder tapping, there will be a positive change in education. The change may not be visible immediately, but a change is inevitable. When experiencing roadblocks, find someone in your network to help you think through the issue, and approach it again. Know that there is change to be made, work towards it, and believe in the Power of Yet.
2: Get Involved
- Get involved. Only you know how, when, and what you want to get involved in. With that being said, have an open mind and seriously consider any and all opportunities that spark even a modicum of interest. Your involvement in different organizations and activities may provide you with a new perspective and will allow you to grow your network, which in turn provides you opportunity for growth.
3: Network, Network, Network
- I personally didn’t realize how powerful a network could be, whether locally or globally. In the past year, I made a vow to myself to expand my network outside of my district. I joined and became active on Twitter (@TeachDB17), became involved in the AZ NBCT Network (@AZNBCTNetwork), as well as applied/accepted an opportunity to work on a National Policy Project with Hope Street Group. These networks have all intertwined and encouraged me to share my story, and help change the rhetoric about education.
As you continue through the year, reflect on how you can stop defeat from taking root.
Who can you talk to? How can you grow? What’s the risk of letting defeat define you?
As you reflect remember to believe in the Power of Yet, get involved and network.
Our work together as educators and supporters of education will make the Power of Yet a reality.