Our Purpose as Educators

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How many of you watched the classic movie “Its a Wonderful Life” Christmas Day? I watch it every year and never get tired of it! The Christmas Story is another classic played Christmas Day but we can discuss it another day! After watching it again this year, I reflected on the life of George Bailey as compared to educators. Here are some of my thoughts comparing George Bailey as portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the movie to educators.

*Family Man-George loved his family and sacrificed for them. He changed his college plans to run the family business when his father died. The plan was to run the Savings and Loan Company until his younger brother graduated from college. Harry would then take his turn running the business while George attended college. As we all know, the war started soon after Harry graduated. George wanted to leave Bedford Falls for a bigger and better life-until he determined his true purpose or meaning of life at the end of the movie. Because of his father’s death and his brother Harry going to college first and then the war breaking out, George had all his plans placed on hold.

As educators, we must have a family mentality or point of view. Teachers actually become an extended member of a students family for at least a year! If we realize this truth and actively become part of the family, educators will be accepted by the new family. Educators should also realize we are members of the school family, district family as well as our state educators family. We don’t always get along and understand each other but all realize the cause is greater than any one of us.

*Ambitious-George wanted to attend college so he could find and take his place in the world. He didn’t really want to stay in his small home town. In other words, George didn’t know the true meaning of life throughout the movie. As educators, we all need to be ambitious learning how to improve our craft so we can meet the learning needs of all students. Learning ends when we die! As we venture through the daily grind of life, we have to realize we are making a difference more than we will probably ever know.

*Deeply Cared About Others in the Community-George Bailey went above and beyond to help others with anything and everything he had. George used his Savings and Loan Company to help others purchase land or their dream homes with little profit for the company. The company was his vehicle to help poor people without taking advantage of them-unlike Mr. Potter! Mr. Potter was greedy and George despised him for it. Educators teach because we have the passion and drive to help young people find their place in this world. As we all know, education is the door of opportunity for a prosperous life. Prosperous is not about money but using what you have to help others. As an educator in your district, are you “all in” to help your students find success!

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