If I ask you, of any of the hundreds of daily tasks you perform each day, “Why are you doing that?”
How often will you say:
“It’s in the curriculum/schedule/contract. I need to do this for my principal/PLC/RTI/a mandate/progress reports/awards banquet/ . . . we’ve always done this.”
In the beginning–when you were still dreaming of being a teacher–I bet the answer was different.
Maybe . . . You wanted to make a difference. You thought you could relate. You had a passion for your subject.
Whatever the case, you probably had a burning conviction that your reason was important–and that you brought something special to the table.
Clearly, regardless of your profession, you can’t be part of a system without agreeing (at least to some extent) to follow someone else’s lead.
Sometimes though, we’re not even aware that we’re checking off the boxes on someone else’s agenda–and, as far as agendas go, we’ve completely forgotten that we used one of our own.
As soon as you relinquish all responsibility for setting the agenda, your “why” changes. And so does the energy with which you approach your craft.