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Just recently, I picked up a copy of Entrepreneur Magazine. I have a stack of these magazines sitting in my office that I never get a chance to read because there's always something else that I need to do. But at 5:00 o'clock on a Saturday when I decided that I wasn't going to do any more work, I decided to pour myself a glass of coconut juice (my new favorite drink) and indulge in reading a little.
When I opened the cover, planning to read an article by Kristen Bell because I was so curious about what kind of a company she was starting, I saw a note from the editor, Jason Feifer.It caught my attention immediately because he was talking about people who are interested in starting their own businesses are in what he defines as "Step One" of a six-step process. He explained that even though we might be in Step One, we're also anxious to get to Step Six.
Jason explained that if you're an entrepreneur or business owner, you might be have just started a company but you're dying to get to Step Six which is where we believe all of the success and all of the glory and all of the “you've made it” feelings lie.
As I read his article, I started to think about how similar this is to when we begin teaching and we are getting ready to set up our own classrooms and prepare for the school year. We are rarely satisfied when we're at Step One, when we’re just beginning in this profession, even though everybody starts here. Every teacher starts as a new teacher - we all have to start somewhere, which is always at the beginning, which is never where we want to be.
Right? We are naturally so flipping impatient. We are in Step One, which can look differently for many of us right now. You might be searching for a teaching job, and you are feeling incredibly impatient and just want to land that job already.
Or, you may have landed your dream job, and now you’re feeling incredibly impatient about getting to start setting up and organizing your new classroom.
Or, you may have already gotten into your new classroom, if you’re incredibly lucky – some teachers are already busy getting things all set up, while everyone else is feeling so impatient, they just want to get on with it and get started already.
Or, you might already have had the incredible privilege of getting everything ready for the school year. If you were part of my R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy in May, you are probably one of those lucky teachers who already has everything ready and organized, and now you’re incredibly impatient and you’re thinking, “Holy cow, can we just get to the first day of school already?”
Right? No matter what our beginning is, we don’t like being at the beginning. We want to get on to the next step already. But here's the kicker:
What if, as Jason suggests, you can never see the next step until you've experienced the step you're in right now? What if each step leads to the next?
And here's another thought that will blow your mind:
What if Step Six isn't even the goal at all?
I hope this information is helpful and food for thought as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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