MAN, is this ever timely. Ran across an article on Twitter this morning (follow me @HoneyFernSchool) about the ten reasons why some people love what they do. Here they are below, without explanations (the article is great, so read that, too, for more detail):
1. They seldom feel disconnected from the challenge that first engaged their interest.
2. They’re remarkably well-attuned to the “early years.”
3. They are “portfolio” thinkers.
4. They don’t care what you think.
5. They are born succession planners.
6. They will stay…but just know, they’ll also leave.
7. They won’t be stopped.
8. They draw people to them without even trying.
9. They live in the now.
10. They never, ever limit their vision to serve the interests of petty competition.
I love what I do; I finally get to teach in a manner that is in keeping with how students learn. FINALLY. I may have dabbled around in my classroom in public school, and I certainly taught differently from my colleagues, but at HoneyFern I get the enormous privilege of working with these faulous kids every day in the best way for them. Humbling.
The one thing this week "off" has shown me (well, many things, not the least of which is that too many pieces of pie is both good and bad, simultaneously) is that I am at a high risk of burning out. It's not the teaching part - it's everything else. Think of what it takes to run a school, from janitorial services to teaching to ordering to marketing to recruiting to administrative duties to managing social media to procurement to accounting to HR to...everything.
Now picture one person doing that for the past three years.
When I met with several people to talk about being on the Board, the one recurring theme was that the progressive private schools they had been involved with did one of two things wrong and thus failed or struggled mightily: 1) they expanded too fast and could not deliver on what they promised, so they compromised and became something other than what they were originally, or 2) the founders burnt out.
While #1 will never happen, #2 is getting close. I can tell from my anxiety dreams and level of stress when the kids aren't here. I don't know what the answer is (more pie?), but I will continue to move forward. We will see what happens.
(and if you'd like to get involved, let me know!)