September 22, 2016

Today my message is about balance.  All of us are pulled in two (or more) different directions on a daily basis.  In our daily work lives, we experience this in trying to balance the desire and need to achieve the highest level of professional standards with the desire and need to achieve the highest level of personal fulfillment outside our school buildings.

Make no mistake about it, the SCEA, IEA, and NEA (which includes you) believes that we as educators should be continuously striving for excellence in our field, raising the bar for our profession at a time when so many others try to diminish the hard work, energy, and pure brainpower it takes to not only educate young minds, but also care for them and help them prepare for using their unique skillset in a complex world.  And so we all push for excellence.  We all engage in meaningful conversations with our colleagues and families about where students are and where we want them to be.  We all actively engage in the conversations with administrators, School Board members, and community members to be a voice for our profession as we face decisions in facilities, curriculum, systems, and processes.  And of course, we all give up countless hours to prepare for what students need the next time they walk through our door.  I have nothing but great respect for all this work you all do, and yet I have nothing but faith that you will not stop your momentum and continue to raise the bar of our profession.
At the same time, the SCEA, IEA, and NEA (which includes you) believe that we as human beings should lead happy, fulfilling lives beyond the classroom.  We all deserve to do whatever it is that brings us purpose in life.  For some of us that is coaching or tutoring or performing or studying.  For some of us that is creating or thrillseeking or exploring or chatting.  For some of us it is with family or friends or strangers or alone.  In any case, you deserve that time.  You have that time.  You have the ability to use that time how you need and want to use it.
So how do we find that balance?  You follow your beliefs.  If you are asked to spend extra time at school, do it because you believe that you should be doing it.  If you are asked to adjust your student growth targets, do it because you believe that the students can achieve them.  If you are asked to be a part of a committee, do it because you believe your participation will make a difference.  If you are asked to do your GCN training, do it because…well, you do that because it is a condition of your employment.


Joe Blomquist.
SCEA President
P.S.- Hang in there middle school teachers.  These are difficult days, but we will get through them together.
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