In education there's a impulse to do it all, but that rarely ends up positive since none of us can do all there is to do in the limitless position of educator. We have to define our contribution, and then work well to meet that aim.
As an educator I've traveled many paths, but the ones that remain the most important to me with regard to my contribution are the following:
Curriculum Facilitator, Guide, and Leader
I truly love to craft learning events with and for my students--events that challenge, engage, and teach in worthwhile ways. I spend a lot of time on this endeavor and find that for the most part the classroom runs well with interest and good learning.
I love to read about what works in education and embed that knowledge into the work I do. The action of bettering the teaching/learning program, practice, and craft on my own and with colleagues, students, family members, and other stakeholders inspires me and moves me forward in the profession.
Education Writer and Advocate
I enjoy reflecting and writing about what I learn, see, believe in, and imagine is possible in education. I am energized to advocate for what is right and good in education and work for that cause. I believe deeply that a well educated populous leads to more loving, collaborative, enjoyable, and peaceful communities. This is a cause and direction I support.
To invest myself deeply into the areas above takes most of my time and means that I don't engage in other areas of teaching and leading that are equally important in the field.
Management is not my forte as an educator, I prefer the classroom to the management of buildings, paperwork, policies and more. I am thankful that there are good people drawn in this direction.
Similarly I am not as politically motivated as others. This sometimes stands in my way when I see the need for change, but am not really sure how to inspire others to see what I see or consider what I imagine to be a better policy or method of teaching well. This is an area I am continuing to think about since it's difficult to stay silent or to accept a lack of influence when you see room for positive change.
And while I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other educators, it's not my favorite activity to present. I do present now and then when I want to share in order to learn. I like to place myself in a room full of invested educators to share what I know and also hear what they know. Therefore when I share in the future, I will take the conversation route of sharing more than the teacher as presenter/speaker presentation road. It's the exchange of ideas that I look forward to as a presenter and educator.
Defining your professional contributions is important as it can help you to make a limitless job doable and successful. Matching your good energy with right contribution can help to elevate what you can do on your own and with others in the learning community.