Exploring the idea of reaching your fullest potential, is it your thoughts or someone else deciding the meaning of “your fullest potential?” It is essential to determine who is in the driver’s seat on pushing the roadmap to the destination. Are you driving, or is it someone else?
It is so easy to get caught up in someone else’s dream for you and let them take the wheel. However, when it is not working, you find yourself in the car alone. When you look around, there is no one to help you out. Before you invest in these great expectations, decide if fulling your potential is designed to address what you want to do in life.
As I grew in my educational career, I had many leaders who impacted my life. The first principal I worked for as a teaching assistant Susan Riggle told me several times to get my teaching degree, and someday she thought I could be the principal of the school. I followed her guidance and began my course work to become a teacher.
Student teaching in first grade in a neighboring district was terrific. I fell in love with everyone and everything. It was an open classroom concept and supported collaboration. The principal Linda Meyer was terrific, and I loved everything she did. One day she told me, I think you should go back and earn your Master’s to become a principal. I looked at her and said, “I am just starting as a teacher.” “I know, but you need to be a principal,” she said.
I returned to my home district and taught for five more years. Then became assistant principal at our junior high. I did this for five years before returning to the district I student taught to become an elementary principal. However, my principal had been involved in a fatal car accident and was no longer in the district. I so wanted to tell her she was right! I loved being a principal. It was amazing.
My Superintendent shared her thoughts on my journey and told me she saw me as Superintendent of the district one day. What? Oh no, I do not think so. Many conversations were shared over our time together and even a proposal to apply to be an Assistant Superintendent. I did not see myself in this role, but I did not see myself in these other roles either? So, I began taking classes.
My accident had nothing to do with my decision on continuing or not in completing my classes. I did not see myself in these positions as another opportunity came around again to revisit the opportunity. I had moved to the central office, and I was doing many different things to support staff, students, family, and community. I had an opportunity to return to my home district as well, but I could not take this path. So many others saw this as my path and to reach my full potential. I thought I already had and wanted to do more to help those I served directly.
Are you following a pathway others expect you to follow? Do you have great expectations for others, and when they do not follow your guidance, are you disappointed? As parents, we can impose without realizing expectations. As teachers, managers, and leaders, we can also influence others with expectations and words like potential.
A recent post on Twitter asked teachers to please promote going to trade school as being just as important as going to a four-year college. How about going to the military as well! I replied to the Twitter post with a please do promote going to trade school! My husband has an electric motor shop, and he would love to turn it over to a young person who would keep it going! He would help them, so this is not lost in our area. This shop allows farmers, local businesses, companies, and towns. We would love to help them start a business of their own if this is what they want to help reach their full potential.
Thoughts to ponder
- Do you know your potential?
- What expectations do you have?
- Are you following your path or someone else’s?
- Can you change your direction at any time?
- When do you know you are on the right path?
My career in education came to an end in a unique way, and it still confuses me some days on what transpired. However, each day revealed the right pathway for me! Many individuals were placed on my path and opened doors to find my way to your inbox today. My journey continues as each day provides opportunities to be a solution daily. My goals are to bring a book to you, offer more free resources, create more activities you can use, and give you all of the support you need! I want to bring value to you and do as much as I can to help inspire and motivate you. Never be afraid to ask a question, ask for something and start a conversation. I am here to be the solution for you daily.