Saturday, November 23, 2013

Educators Need More Than ‘Hustle’, Have To Also Be A ‘Hustler’

      Anyone in education should know that it’s hard work.  In addition to the expectations, demands, versatility and creativity, there is supreme emotional strength needed to survive and be successful.
      We’ve all heard over and over since our youth things about ‘hard work,’ ‘early bird gets the worm,’ and more.  Like in all professions, there are those that deliver and those that don’t.  In some ways, it’s really that simple.
      What teachers and educators need to learn is to be a ‘hustler.’ That’s right.   Learning and winning with students is a game.  Those that learn to play the game, and play it well, will rise above any adversity thrown at them by government bureaucracies, students, parents, colleagues or other.
      Again, educators need to become ‘hustlers.’  This doesn’t have to be the negative street connotation, but rather about those that learn that all systems can be mastered, legally and ethically, to get them to work for you.  We have to play and maneuver at high levels of passion, expertise, confidence and purpose.

      What happened to the definition of ‘hustler’ that was good that was defined at one time as “an enterprising person determined to succeed; go getter”?  We let the more negative definition or connotations take over.
      In terms of school, how does this work?  Well, which classrooms seem to have the best resources and the ‘extra stuff’?  Well, the teachers that are ‘hustlers.”  Which classes and programs get grants?   Those that have educators that are ‘hustlers.”  Who gets great field trips together?  Those that are ‘hustlers.’  Who figures out how to integrate and incorporate technology even though they may not be experts?  Those that are ‘hustlers.”  Who gets great guest speakers?  Those that are ‘hustlers.’  Who learned long ago to not have their career defined by a single standard, assessment or experience?  Those that are ‘hustlers.”
      Get the idea? If educators wait for the system, the school boards, the leaders to make things better, they will wait too long.  Don’t get me wrong.  We need great leaders, school boards and better systems.  They make a huge difference. 

     But good teachers and educators need to realize that they have to work above and beyond those.  They have to take their situation and maximize or optimize it.  They don’t wait for others to bring them cool stuff for their students, bur rather they go get it.  They don’t wait for others to get them funds or support, but rather they go get it.  They don’t wait for others to take them to training or professional development, but rather they go get it.  They don’t wait for others to reform education, but rather they become the reformers. 
      In all professions, those that ‘hustle,’ or become ‘hustlers,’ in all the right ways, are the ones that lead and are successful.  We need educational ‘hustlers’ more than ever.

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