The personal learning network for educators
Well there's a rose in a fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the one you love,
Honey Love the one you're with….
You gotta love the one you're with….
You gotta love the one you're with…..
You gotta love the one you're with!
Crosby, Stills and Nash lyrics by Stephen Stills
This is an interesting song with words of wisdom by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash. I love this song and what it stands for. However, it is interesting to note that the “Supergroup” of CSN who performed this song was essentially made from group members who chose to leave their old groups and form this super group. They obviously did not love the ones they were with! In public education in general, we do not have this option at many different levels.
As we look at public education, I believe that we need to keep this song in mind. The purpose of public education was designed in the hopes that the masses would benefit from the use of public money to educate the children for public good. The idea was infused with a belief in citizenship and a better tomorrow. Since that time, public education in the United States continues to serve all students. We do not have an option to be exclusionary… we believe that all our students can learn and have worth. We “love the ones were with.”
In addition, in our positions, we have an opportunity to work with a variety of personalities that yield different viewpoints. We come together in our different positions to serve our families and students. On a broad level, we all come to work because we believe in public education. We have a consensus about the value in teaching and working with children. However, I know, beyond that we continue to have task conflict about the best way to accomplish this. This is okay! Through this process we continue to refine our practice and flush out our values and our collective agreement on what is best for our students. What is not okay is when we let personal conflict interfere with our work with kids.
I know that we all have days in which our jobs are difficult. I believe that this feeling is even more apparent in May as we have all been working closely together with each other as staff members and with students for the entire school year. We have days where we feel under-appreciated, taken advantage of and not valued. We have days where we feel others are not keeping pace and doing their share. This feeling may come from the public; it may come from amongst our own staff and even our students, but no matter what we must continue to come to work and show professionalism and perseverance because we know our job has value.
Tom Rath is the author of the New York Times best seller Wellbeing, and the Wall Street Journal best seller Strengths Finder 2.0. If you were to read the book Strengths Finder you would find that Rath believes we all have natural talents. He claims that all too often we try and take the path of most resistance and try to be something we are not. Doesn’t this seem irrational to continue to work from our weakness? In judging people from their weakest moments? In working with students or colleagues, one way to make it easier to love them is to work towards their strengths. All things are not equal between people, and we need to learn to play to each others strengths. Isn’t it much easier to love someone when they are performing well, happy and contributing? He points out that we cannot be anything we want to be-but we can be a lot more of what we already are.
In the end, we need to listen to Stephen Stills because we may not always get to be with the one we want, the students we want, the team that we want, the school that we want, the parents that we want….. but we have to love the ones we’re with! Playing to their strengths and making a conscious choice to promote attitudes of professionalism and acceptance is what can set us apart. This choice is what helps us teach with passion, each and every day!
Keep on Truckin’