Monday, January 30, 2017

Who Are You?

Monday morning started out as any other in school. We turned on the morning announcements to begin our day. Our principal ends each day with sharing part of our school's mission statement. He does this every day. It becomes part of the fabric of our community since we hear it daily. Here's the full mission statement:
On this particular morning, there was a change. Mr. Phillips paused and changed the mission statement. I noticed the seventh and eighth-grade students in my class, look up and pay attention to this change. Here is what he said, "We offer every student and staff member here, each day, an unlimited welcome. No matter who you are, what your background, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or how you look, speak, or dress – that welcome is unlimited and unchanging. Today, treat each person with dignity, so that dignity can grow into understanding. For, in the end, there is only one true school rule – treat others with the respect and kindness that you would expect to be treated. Be committed to THAT today, and have a great day." This found me flabberghasted, sitting in front of my students with tears in my eyes. I shared it on social media and I've seen it shared so many times. We need this now! These ideas. These words and we need to declare them to the world! I decided to write my own personal mission statement. (I'd like to write one for me as a teacher and as a writer too, but I decided to start to write something for me as a person.) I didn't know where to begin, so I searched online and I found that there are lots of sites to help. 
I'm still on an early draft. Once I got the idea of what goes into a mission statement, I turned to my book for help. I'm reading Blessed are the Weird by Jacob Nordby. He is the writer that created the Beatitudes of the Weird...
This book is filled with the most beautiful ideas. I am savoring every last syllable. And the words he uses...I can not stop annotating!
I used these words. I created a list...
...and from that list, I began to craft my mission statement. Here are my early drafts...
I'm enjoying much of draft #1, but I still need to revise. I'll return with my finished, polished statement. What will your mission statement declare? Who will you be to the world? 
Jacob NOrdby

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