During my sophomore year in college I made what many considered to be an odd move in my life. Despite having no previous history or interest, I decided to try out for the cheerleading team. My motives were simple and goal oriented: I wanted to be able to do that. “That” which drove me was a stunt that I saw another cheerleader twice my size doing one night at a basketball game. In one quick swoop he would pick up three girls at the same time and then walk around the court, one in each hand and one on his shoulders. It was awesome!!!
I wanted to be awesome! So I made the squad and then I made a commitment to workout in the gym. For a year and a half I built up muscle in my arms and legs. I was adding strength to strength. And after a year and a half of blood, sweat, and cheers, one night at practice I finally hit the stunt. Standing there in my self-perceived state of awesomeness and safely holding up three girls at the same time I learned something. I was able to do this not because of my newly acquired muscle, it was because I finally got the balance aspect right. Hitting this stunt was 40% strength, 60% balance. Had I taken time earlier to focus on my balance I would have performed at my best much sooner. And so it goes in life.
Balance is the polish that allows your strengths to shine through. It is the element that causes others to look at your work in wonder. Balance is the ingredient that makes your work come out as awesome. And it is that standard of “awesome” that educators should be performing at in the classroom.
But in order for that to be achieved our educators need that time for balance. In the face of increased standards, increased expectations, and increased stress our teachers need that time off. Our children cannot afford to be lead by imbalanced educators who are anything less than passionate for their work. We need educators on fire for the lives that they touch! We need educators whose strengths do shine bright. We need educators who are so awesome that they inspire their learners to be awesome themselves. You cannot bestow what you do not have, and being awesome all begins with balance.