• HeatherJoy Bagnall

Because they are my children #ReclaimingOurCalling

Updated: Dec 20, 2018

If you ask any principal, educator, parent, or student if they can reclaim their calling in education you are not likely to hear a great deal of, ‘Yes! I will Reclaim My Calling! ' Our teachers' hearts are heavy with the burdens of barking not only from afar, but from the thresholds of their classrooms, and even from their inboxes. Read this: Reclaiming Our Calling: Hold on to the Heart, Mind, and Hope of Education by Dr. Brad Gustafson. All of you… just, read it! Dr. Gustafson does not ask for an immediate revolt. Instead, the author begs the question, where, in the music of life is education? How do we hold onto the heart, mind, and hope of education? Gustafson’s work illustrates the steadfast belief that students and communities deserve the best “academic, social, moral, and creative” education we can offer each and every student. But alas, we cannot fully reclaim our calling today. Although, what if we were to take 9 minutes and outline a plan for one step we can take today? What if we were to take 9 minutes and do what aligns our Heart, Mind, and Hope with education? Those two steps will be different for each of us. Our mind asks so many questions. How will you reclaim your calling? How will I reclaim my calling? And, where on those paths will we encounter each other? Personally, I keep asking myself, what drove me out of the classroom and into my current position in education? What would I change? What did I do well? What was the problem? What resonates with you and what resonates with me may be different, yet, the notes of your song and the notes of my song will make the masterpiece our communities deserve. What drove me out of the classroom… that is a story for another day. I imagine it is not the only story of its kind. My first step: Find my footing and stand up again. What I have endured in the past nearly 20 years has tested my limits, tested my faith, taken my feet out from underneath me. I died so many years ago, but my core is still alive. I have found my journey and the spark has created a fire within me. My second step: Engage, encourage, and inspire the teachers who are in the field. Hold them up so they don’t lose their footing. Help teachers reclaim their inbox, their classroom, and focus on the joyous laughter from within it. Today I will read a story to a class so the teacher can have a 10-minute break. Today I will give my time to a teacher who wants to try something new without the fear of failure. Harboured safely in my heart is the pain of deceit and lack of self-worth I allowed to be placed there. Preventing happiness in following my calling is fear. Other than recent Tweets here and there, 2002 was the last time I wrote and shared anything publicly. By 2005, I was dead yet, in the words of Buck, “But, I lived!” Once upon a time, I had a voice and I am determined to find it again. Today I will fill a jar with those moments and watch it as it burns.

No longer are those moments allowed residency. Today I will stand up.

HeatherJoy, 2018.


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