Monday, November 12, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 10 - Excellence

Growing up and playing sports, pursuing excellence was something that was always emphasized throughout a season as well as off-season. Chasing excellence was something that we (athletes, and for me, later as a coach) were never ashamed of. Perfecting our craft and demanding from each other that we all get better than average was a norm. It's something that my husband grew up with as well, and something that we've stressed with our daughters. 

For many of you reading this, you can relate to the athletic piece and you are most likely nodding your head in agreement. For some of you, maybe you weren't an athlete, but the expectations to be above average came from other areas - the arts, academic endeavors, home life, or other areas. 

I've noticed in many education circles, though, chasing excellence can be a taboo subject. Maybe it's because we strive to be humble, servant leaders and educators. Perhaps it's because we aim to be collaborative and not competitive. 

I love when I get to hear my friend Jimmy Casas - a truly compelled educator - speak because he reminds us that, "No one got into education to be average." 

"Strive to be a leader who.... 
Doesn’t wait for others to change: You change. Take responsibility for your own behavior. You cannot paralyze yourself because others are not doing the things that need to be done.   Take initiative and be the change, not the same."

Whatever the reason we choose to make our desire to be excellent a private matter, we need to remember that the best educators don't compete with others. They compete with themselves. Let's continue to strive to give our very best each and every minute of every day. Let's chase excellence, not average. 

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