Yay, it is our first official week with our brand new name over on the podcast: Joyful in Primary Podcast. And as I explained in the last episode, it was just time for a change. I am so, so thrilled you’re here. You are my people. I wanted to begin this new identity, this new adventure, with a series to help you get refocused and refueled so that you can see this year through to the end with as much success and joy as possible. So today, we’re going to be talking about diving in to your teacher purpose.
Let’s Make the Most of These Days!
I know you’re tired. I’m tired, too. Every teacher I know is tired. We all look forward to a good long, restful summer break. And my friend, I’m here to tell you there is nothing wrong with that. Old me would have had this dialog playing in my head right about now, “Oh, no, you mean I have to suffer through 55 more days of this?”
Oh, but my friend, that never served me well. And I promise it will not serve you will either. Plus, it never made the time go any quicker. Now, I don’t feel that way. Yes, we are tired. But what do you say we choose the more meaningful path, one that has a greater impact and serves us, our talents, and most importantly, our students.
So even if you’re counting down the days, because summer is in sight, let’s let our passion shine through and utilize this time that we have left. If you feel like you could use some extra motivation, encouragement, and strategy to help you not only survive, but thrive all the way to summer break this series is for you, my teacher friend. And don’t forget to share this series with a friend. It would not only help them who may need some uplifting too, but I would be so appreciative of your recommendation. That is an incredible gift.
Connecting With Our Purpose is Vital
So with that, let’s get started with part one of our series, which is all about connecting with our purpose. I’m so excited about this topic. So let’s get growing!
No matter where you’re going, if guided by purpose, the destination is always fulfillment. Let me say that again. No matter where you’re going, if guided by purpose, the destination is always fulfillment. I really hope I can be quoted for this one day. This came straight from my heart, because it’s something I’ve realized after years of working to be guided with purpose. What it means is no matter where you are or where you’re going, if you can identify a purpose that is important and powerful for you, you can win at anything. You can feel successful. You can feel that sense of fulfillment that we all chase after.
This is a Great Time to Connect With Your Purpose
Right now is a great time to do just that: to connect with your purpose. We could keep on the regular path, counting down the days, or we could create purpose and end this school year knowing that our time was meaningful and full of purpose. If you want to get the best results from this school year, it’s time to identify, or reconnect maybe, with your purpose.
We lose sight of our purpose from day to day, we can’t help it. The universe does not stop and remind us that hey, you’re here for a very magnificent reason, and you can’t be replaced. I’ll happily remind you though, if you show up here with me each week. We can take over and feel re-energized and more focused if we just take time to identify the purpose we have in our every day and in the time that we have left this school year.
Connect With Your Purpose
So today, that is my goal – to help you find or reconnect with your purpose. Why are you here? This is a topic I really enjoy teaching inside of Joyful Teacher Academy and as an exercise I do often with my own private coaching clients who see big results from just remembering the true purpose they have for teaching each day. So here is a quick and dirty version of how I teach this to my students in Joyful Teacher Academy.
A joyful teacher can be depicted as a sunflower. Oh boy, do I love sunflowers. Joyful teachers, like sunflowers, seek the sun, which provides growth, strength, and most important, sustainability. One fun fact about real sunflowers is that they have incredible roots. They are deep and can even be annoying to those who want to remove them. So, to be a joyful sunflower of a teacher, you must get rooted like a sunflower. In Joyful Teacher Academy, I call this exercise getting rooted in purpose.
I want you to plant your joyful roots, to anchor down with clear, thoughtful purpose that can help you hang on through the hard times and bust through the barriers that hold you back. This is the perfect time to go through this exercise because we’re worn down or exhausted. But we have all this time left. Let’s utilize it.
Create a Rooted in Purpose Statement
I created an exercise to help teachers get rooted in purpose. Today, I’ll walk you through just part of this exercise that I use with my students in module one of Joyful Teacher Academy. That module’s name is Manifest Joy. We want joy appearing in our lives, in our careers. It drives us forward.
Due to time, this is a condensed version. But if you follow through with me during this episode, you’ll leave with a rooted in purpose statement that you can use to drive you forward with purpose as you see summer sneaking into sight. Promise me and decide right now, in this moment, that you will set aside time to finish this exercise. This has been a big game changer for many teachers that I’ve worked with. They’ve never looked at things in this light, in this perspective, and it can be career changing if you let it be.
This all goes back to our mindset. We have to have our mindset in gear to really find success and joy as a teacher, so trust me and promise that you’ll follow through. So, all teachers have a pretty good understanding of their purpose for teaching. But I want you to get crystal clear about it and have this power tool in your teacher toolbox. I’m going to provide you some guidelines to follow in creating your rooted in purpose statement. And I want you to do that immediately or as soon as possible. Set aside a quiet place and really put your heart into this.
Guidelines for Your Rooted in Purpose Statement
Here are some guidelines that I want you to keep in mind while creating your rooted in purpose statement.
First of all, you should know it is completely unique to you. We don’t want meaningless cliches. Put your heart, your mind, and your soul into it. And really ask yourself, why am I here? An effective rooted in purpose statement should include your contribution to others. As an example, maybe your purpose is connected to your students. Or maybe you seek success to support your family or inspire your own children at home. We have to have contributions to others, or we don’t find that deep meaning, that power, within it.
Your rooted in purpose statement should also clearly state the results or impact of your contribution that you wish to make. These two are directly related. So think about what outcomes you are hoping to see.
And probably most important of all, is that your statement should have an emotional impact on you. It is not complete until it has a physical result on your emotions.
My Rooted in Purpose Statement
As an example, my purpose is to uplift and encourage children so that they can overcome obstacles to create a successful, happy, and meaningful future.
At first, this may sound like a typical meaningless mission statement, but to me, it was deeply rooted in my own beliefs and experiences. It literally sets my heart on fire when I say it. It has that emotional impact, and that is what we need. We need these strong emotions attached to our purpose our statement.
So now that you have those guidelines, I want you to set aside time and create a statement. Something that you can take with you, something that you can hang in your classroom, something that you can set as the screensaver on your computer or your phone. We need this with us in these times ahead to make sure we are working every day to meet our purpose.
Questions to Help You Get Clear on Your Statement
Inside of Joyful Teacher Academy, I actually have a set of questions, a set of steps more specific to help teachers get this clear statement. And I want to provide part of that to you. So, if you check the next section, you’ll find questions that can help you identify your contribution that you wish to make and the impact. These are just questions that really get you thinking. And then you can in turn create your rooted in purpose statement with that. So, if you lack access to those questions, check out the link.
I don’t want to go through each of those here because of time. But what I do hope for you is that you are crystal clear, without a doubt, living in your purpose. Knowing your purpose is the very first step in that. So, get clear on your why, why you’re here. Create this rooted in purpose statement, something that you can repeat, something that you can say easily to others, and something that is just visible in your classroom, in your planner, wherever you hope to have that. But that makes it more meaningful when we know we’re walking in purpose.
Remember, no matter where you’re going, if guided by purpose, the destination, my friend, is always fulfillment. Let’s make this little bit of time we have left, which will go by in a complete flash, as meaningful and as impactful as possible.
Questions to Guide You
Use these questions to guide you when creating your “Rooted in Purpose” statement.
- Think back to the beginning of your career. What skill, lesson, subject or overall theme were you most excited to teach?
- What unique gifts, talents or life experiences do you have that you are proud to share with your students?
- What can you teach your students that no one else can?
- When do you feel the most joy in your classroom? Describe specific moments, activities or parts of your day.
- What outcomes do you want your students to credit you for in the future? Start with your name. (Ex. Mrs. Mullins gave me..)
- How do you define success as a teacher? How will you know you’ve succeeded in your career? What evidence will prove you’ve succeeded?
- What big results in your career would you want to be included in your eulogy? (I know, a little sad to think about, but powerful.)
Now, piece it all together to create your statement.
My purpose is to (describe your contribution) so that (describe the impact).
Would you like to work with me?
It has been a joy to talk with you today my joyful teacher friend. I want to offer you, since you’ve made it to the very end, I know that you are the type of teacher that I love to work with. So, I’d love to offer you a free 30-minute coaching session with me one on one. I do coach teachers privately to help them increase their joy, take over classroom management, or just to help them make small changes in their classroom to help them find the results they’re after.
If you’ve been struggling, if you felt overwhelmed, if you’re trying to reconnect with that joy you once felt, or if you’re just a completely new teacher who’s not found their way, private coaching may be exactly what you need. So if you’re interested in a free 30 minute session, just send me an email toni @ teacher toni.com (without spaces). My schedule is very packed, but I just had a few openings that I’m hoping to fill, and maybe you are the person I’m meant to be working with. I would love to meet you and speak with you even if only for 30 minutes.
With that, let’s end this first part of our series, and I’m so excited for you to join me next week for part two, which is all about passion. I’ll end by saying until we meet again, go make a difference, my joyful teacher friend.