Soulful Sunday


Yesterday I was reading a book (Linchpin) by Seth Godin and had this ah ha moment.  It is a book about business and as I read – I realized I was reading about the state of education.  I just had to share it.  Listen to this (I will be replacing the word “business” with the word “education or teacher”:

You want a cookie-cutter (education) that you can scale fast, without regard for finding, nurturing and retaining talent – it is the Rule of Ordinary People.  Here’s the problem, which you’ve already guessed.  If you make your (education) possible to replicate, you are not going to be the one to replicate it.  Others will.  If you build an (education) filled with rules and procedures that are designed to allow you to hire cheap (teachers), you will have to produce an (education) without humanity or personalization or connection.  Which means that you will have to lower your quality.  Which leads to the race to the bottom.

Indispensable (teachers) are the race to the top.

Godin’s point is that the whole focus in business has been to produce products as cheaply as possible.  In order to do that – you have to make employees easily replaceable.  You have all watched the fall out as thousands of jobs were outsourced to the lowest priced labor in the world.  The good news is that Godin is saying this model of business is dead.  There is a new way – the way of indispensable talent.

I assert that this old business model of the easily replaceable labor is what education is currently experiencing in its financial crisis.   Larger classrooms, fewer rights, no raises . . . . more accountability.

But I just love Godin’s point of view.  It applies to education.  The race to the top can only be realized in the indispensable talent of teachers.

So my message to you today is simple.

You are indispensable.  

You are the source of all that works in our educational systems.

Thank you for teaching in this high pressure, high stakes environment.  Thank you for bringing your heart and soul in the face of unreasonable pressure.   You matter.   If we strip away all the assessments, the data, the evaluations – the truth rests quietly waiting for acknowledgement.   Education is a journey of the heart.  An exceptional education is born from passionate, inspired educators who commit themselves to the task of learning with their students.

You have a gift to give.

A deep stirring to make a difference.

You were born for this work.

We cannot allow the machine of education to deny us our task.

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  1. Diane says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for all you do for all of us Sally! You are an inspiration to many!

  2. Thank you Diane. I must admit my favorite people on the planet are teachers!!!

  3. gumbiecat says:

    Oh thank you Sally, because I needed this…so much!

    • Thank you for all you do for our profession. We need each other in this climate.

  4. Erin says:

    Keep on keepin’ on, Sally! They will not beat us down if we don’t let them. The children will lift us up. (Although, lately, I do find myself using Samuel L. Jackson’s movie vocabulary when talking about work more than I ever would have imagined!)

  5. Lynn says:

    Wow! In some ways, as a first-time homeschool mom, I have thought of this “indispensable” teacher idea, knowing it’s truth, but never been able to put it to words. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us do be the best for our children.

    • Thank you Lynn for sharing. I am so excited for you homeschool journey! Many hugs!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just left a retirement celebration where only 8 out of 50 teachers came. We are so beaten down at my school/district/state (FL). Your blog has been an inspiration but after almost 30 years I can’t fight the system anymore and I can’t just close my door and teach. Too many walkthroughs.


    • Leah, my heart goes out to you. I totally understand and applaud you for taking care of yourself. These situations are so stressful. Our nation has a crisis in teaching that most citizens have no clue exists — not on the level of the suppression of gifted and talented teachers.

      Thank you Leah for giving so generously 30 years of teaching. Wow! What a huge contribution and accomplishment. You have given fully and I am so sad that our school systems have lost yet another amazing teacher. Know you are not alone.

      All my love, friend.

  7. Sue says:

    Well said! Your post is so timely and passionate. Thanks for the cup of inspiration!

  8. I just downloaded your free e-book! We are always looking at your blog for inspiration & art ideas! Thank you!

    • Yeah! Lots of good things are coming including a complete index to all the projects!

  9. Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing..

  10. carrie says:

    I thank you. I have been struggling lately, trying to figure out what I have been missing from my teaching. Thank you for reminding me that it is in the day to day that life really matters. Thank you.

    • Yes! Teaching is a wholistic act – one that can not deny the heart. Hugs

  11. This is such an inspiring post! Teachers are such an important part of the fabric of society but it’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routine of going and doing and being and forget to remember why we teach!

    • It is so true. The doing of teaching can sometimes cloud the being-ness of teaching. When I find myself fretting over some silly detail – I know I need to get back to the “what am I in the matter of teaching” thinking. Big hugs!

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