I recently read this post from @gcouros and was so engaged in reflecting about the mindshift from “I got to” to “I get to” that I decided it was time to blog. I retired two years ago and always knew that I wanted to continue teaching. Luckily and fortunately I am a substitute teacher at my old school and another one, not to far from my house. I even get to choose my preferences for the age/grade levels that I am interested to be on call! Of course the prearranged, planned sub days are much preferred, but I’m comfortable with the early morning texts or phone calls as I jump out of bed and get ready to go. I GET TO work with delightful, energetic, inquisitive kids, wonderful teachers, and observe their interactions with their students and the curriculum. It’s been all that I could have asked for! That’s why I continue to be surprised when people question why I still stay “in this business.” They question why I do it and see it as a “Got To” for whatever reason they might attribute the necessity of continued work after retirement. And I, well I see it as “I Get To” learn some more, to be engaged in the wonder and to be in an environment that keeps me hopeful for the next generation of leaders. I “Get To” participate in Twitter chats, ask questions, share experiences and express my opinions. The student choice/voice that I am a firm believer in advocating also applies to adults, so there you have it, here’s my voice. Not a “GOT TO” but a “GET TO.”
I hope after reading @gcouros post you might take a few minutes to reflect where you are on the I GOT TO or I GET TO mindset. From Professional Development to seminars to faculty meetings, to whatever is part of your job, what’s your approach, what’s your perspective? Whatever your field may be, how does this feel for you? And then the hard part, how can we create an environment where our students see the work they do as I GET TO and not an I GOT TO.