Finding Your “Why” (through all the mess)

I have been recently inspired by a YouTube video by Michael Jr. at 


In this video, Michael Jr. explains how “knowing your why” can change the outcome of your ‘what’.  Without knowing your ‘why’, each of your ‘what’s’ are not as meaningful, impactful, or even worth it.  This struck home with me because my ‘why’ for being a teacher has never been to get students to pass a test.  My WHY has always been connected to …

  • changing student lives (making an impact)
  • Making a difference in the world through my students and their parents by building relationships and partnerships
  • Inspire change, innovation, and individuality in teaching pedagogy

Coming to work to teach the assigned curriculum, to get a paycheck or to have something to do every day was never on my list.  At times, it was difficult to remember my Why because of all of the extras that get in the way…end of year

  • testing
  • discipline
  • grading papers
  • To Do lists from other ‘duties’
  • district paperwork

Everyday counts when you are a teacher.  You are always making an impact; either a positive one or a negative one.

As a new instructional coach, I have found it very difficult to figure out my WHAT.  The job description covers many things that I have never experienced before (all new expectations) and it is an umbrella that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. My WHY has never changed.  I still want to …

  • change student lives (making an impact)
  • Make a difference in the world through my students (staff) and the parents by building relationships and partnerships
  • Inspire change, innovation, and individuality in teaching pedagogy
    • my charge is just on a much larger scale.  Which, at times, seems very overwhelming, out of control, and out of reach. But, it is why I went for this job.
    • I am no longer trying to do this in the four walls of my classrooms, I’m trying to do these things for an entire school.

After watching Michael Jr.’s video, I had to sit down and figure out my Why statement to keep me on track.  Without my WHY, my WHAT is OUT OF REACH.

Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk  references Dr. King and the Wright Brothers. These men knew untitledtheir WHY and because of it 250,000 came to hear Dr. King speak- not for Dr. King because he was such a great leader, but because they believed in his WHY. It was their WHY too.  The Wright Brothers didn’t have the $, the following, or the news coverage that their fellow flight seeking colleagues, like Langley, had.  They knew their WHY, believed. Their pursuit bled into their employees because their beliefs and feelings connected to and inspired others.  These are examples of leaders who inspire not leaders who led.  These men had a growth mindset in their endeavor because of their WHY. Their “heart” was in their work. 150601_EM_WrightBrothers

When we focus on our feelings, our beliefs, our WHY – the decisions that we make are done in the limbic part of our brains. This part of the brain guides all of our decisions, inspires others to step up (not follow) to be a part of the passion and keeps our mindset from quitting because it gets too hard.

Benefits: A purpose:

  • Keeps you motivated
  • Keeps you focused on the “how” (When we have a “why” , we can put up with any “how”)
  • Enables you to make daily progress toward long-term goals
  • Provides a compelling reason why you are a leader or are in business
  • Inspires others to want to follow you
  • Sets boundaries for decision-making
  • Clarifies what is really important to you


I encourage you to find your WHY.  Remember WHY you became a teacher, WHY this job matters to you.  The WHAT will be there (curriculum, TEKS, objectives). The HOW is motivated by your WHY- if you believe in students, in teaching, in making a difference, HOW you do that is more meaningful, more fun, and leads to a much more exciting life.

You can find your Why with these 6 STEPS at my TpT store. @ Jule Huck

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