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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Do You Love Your Job?

Well, I did it, I signed a contract to return to the Lower Yukon School District... I was thinking about my options for a long time. I must admit, though, I left out a key factor in the equation: the student of LYSD. My decision was honestly made, or 80% sure, that is. I was leaning heavily toward leaving to find a life on the road system. It would have meant driving, restaurants, and a social life.

Then I took a trip with 7 students to the Future Educators of Alaska Annual Gathering this past month. They changed everything. I was so proud of them I could barely hide my urges to high-five them every few minutes. I won't go into too much detail, but needless to say these young ladies are truly special.

They challenged me to rethink why I became a teacher and where I'm going professionally. I asked myself what really matters in my life, and specifically in my career. The choice I had made was a selfish one. It was about me, my living arrangements, my personal time, and the adults I work with. I hadn't considered the impact I could have on the students and teachers in my district. So... I'm back... and loving my job as much as ever!

I ran across this blog a while ago and though I would share: 14 Telling Signs You Love Your Job.


1. You don’t talk about other people; you talk about the cool things other people are doing.
I do this all the time!! I am always bragging about the gifted educators and amazing staff we have in LYSD. I will not mention names, frankly because you wouldn't read it it would be so long, but trust that if you call me I'll tell you about a few...
2. You think, “I hope I get to…” instead of, “I hope I don’t have to…”
This summarizes 2013-2014 for me. I hope.
3. You see your internal and external customers not as people to satisfy but simply as people.
I consider most of the professionals I work with friends, some better than others, but I genuinely care about them all. I do aim to please.
4. You enjoy your time at work.
Jamming out in my little office from 7:45 to 6:00 or so everyday is a blast. The company is pretty good and I always feel so productive. 
5. You would recommend working at your company to your best friend…
recommend to my friends, too, but I take it to the next level: I have been evangelizing to my mother and sister, both of which are teachers! 
6. You enjoy attending meetings.
Okay, I don't know about this one... ( - MINUS 1 point)
7. You don’t think about surviving. You think about winning.
This one depends on the time of year. I think we all are in survival mode when the water is off more than it's on in Mountain Village during late winter. ( - MINUS 1 point, but not all the time!)
8. You see your manager as a person you work with, not for.
I am trusted. I am part of a team. 
9. You don’t want to let your coworkers down.
NEVER! 
10. You hardly ever look at the clock.
This one is hilarious because every day ends with me saying to my coworker, "Oh my gosh, it's already 5:00!"
11. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification – not just promotions and money.
I worry about this one and I am trying to keep it in check. I think I'm okay for the time being. 
12. You leave work with items on your to-do list you’re excited about tackling tomorrow.
If you look at my phone I have Google Docs full of "talking points", half a dozen voice memos, and several notes on my Stickies app. It is not uncommon that I send emails at midnight or set alarms and reminders for myself whilst exiting a dream of the next workday. Sad? Maybe. Fun? Definitely! 
13. You help without thinking.
Ask me for a ride to the airport and find out.
14. You don’t think about retirement… because retirement sounds boring…
Okay, this one is a tough one! I can't wait to retire, but that's because I want to start a second career running a SCUBA shop in Cozumel! ( - MINUS 1 point)
How many of the above statements apply to you and your job?
I got 11/14, how about you?
If you said:
0-3: You may want to find a new job. Life is too short.
4-6: You don't hate your job... but you don't love it either. What can you do differently?
7-10: You really enjoy your job and the people you work with
11-14: You are deeply, madly in love with your job! (and your friends are jealous!)