My Why

God’s timing is indeed good. This has been a challenging week for me, and yesterday I had the privilege of eating lunch with one of our seniors who is interested in pursuing a career in education. She had asked me a couple of weeks ago if she could interview me, so we met yesterday. I needed that conversation. I needed the reminder. I needed to remember my why.

Student: Why did you choose education for a career?

Me: I always knew I wanted to spend my time working with young people— either as a youth minister or a teacher. The biggest influences in my life (outside of my mom and grandparents) were teachers, coaches, and youth ministers, and I want to be that same kind of difference maker in someone else’s life.

Student: Why did you choose to teach English?

Me: Originally, I wanted to be a PE teacher and coach football. During my freshman year of college, I discovered I was more interested in reading British literature and diagramming sentences than I was in learning about the muscular system and identifying every bone in the human body. I did get to do the coaching thing for two years after college, but because of the time commitment, I realized coaches have to absolutely LOVE it, and I just didn’t have that at the time. That’s why I have so much respect now for coaches. I understand they invest so much time outside of the classroom and, as a result, they’re able to be a tremendous influence in the lives of their players.

Student: When you interview someone for a position, what are you looking for or what do you think other principals are looking for?

Me: When a candidate applies and we schedule an interview, I already know the candidate has the necessary qualifications. I’m more interested in learning if the candidate will fit in our culture. What’s on paper is important, but whether they’ll be able to connect with our students, our community, and our culture is critical. I also want to learn if that person will make our school better. Other principals are most likely looking for the same thing— will you fit in? Will you raise the bar? As you look for a position, do your homework. Learn about what the school is truly about, and if it’s a fit for you, be sure to focus on that during the interview.

Student: Do you have any other advice for me?


1. Do you what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I love coming to school every day. That matters.

2. Learn to be content by defining your “enough." If you’re not careful, you’ll always think, “When I _____… then I will ____…" and you’ll never be content. Defining your “enough" will help you make wise decisions.

Student: Final question— I want to read a book a month to help me grow. Where should I start?

Me: This could take a while! Let’s start with The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews.

I needed to have this conversation this week. I needed to be reminded. I needed to remember my why. God’s timing is good.

*By the way, this is not an actual transcript. I didn’t write everything down word-for-word nor did I record the conversation. That would have been weird.

  • Sunday’s Honors Induction Ceremony went great! In all, 120 students were inducted into NJHS, NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, and/or Beta Club. A big thanks goes to Jan Penrod, Sonya Gates, Carrie Vick, and Kathy Holland for organizing and running the ceremony. Awesome job!

  • Wednesday’s Africa Reads Mustangs Missions Spirit Day raised $650 that will go towards purchasing books. That’s awesome! A big thanks goes to Angie Diles for leading the charge and making us aware of the amazing work Africa Reads is doing.

  • Yesterday’s Drama Club trip to see “Sister Act" followed by the joint workshop with students from Mena High School was a huge success! Jenna Thomas and Holly Cannon provided our students with some great learning opportunities yesterday, and they all had a great time.

  • Yesterday’s 8th grade Reality Fair was a great reality check for several of our students. TruService provides a great experience for our students to get a glimpse into the real world. A big thanks goes to Jan Penrod, Caroline Prestridge, Sonya Gates, Terri Dodd, James Wilhite, Carrie Vick, and Rachel Brackens for their helping with the event.

Upcoming Events
  • Today— Aspire Interim Test II Completion Date (6-9; ENG, READ, SCI, MA); Click here for information
  • Thursday, February 9
    • Choirpalooza Day (grades 6-8)
    • College Tour Meeting during intercom chapel
  • Friday, February 10— CFA Leader Academy Session (7:30-8:45 AM)
  • Saturday, February 11— ACT Testing Day
  • Monday, February 13— 5th Period Rotation Change for 7th Grade Students (click here for rosters)
  • Sunday, February 26- Wednesday, March 1— College Tour
  • Friday, March 3— CFA Leader Academy Session (7:30-8:45 AM)
  • Wednesday, March 8— End of 3rd Nine Weeks’ Grading Period (2:00 dismissal day)
  • Thursday, March 9— Grades due by noon
  • Friday, March 10— The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet matinee
  • Saturday, March 11— The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet (7:00 PM)
  • Sunday, March 12— The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet (2:00 PM)
  • Monday, March 13— The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet (7:00 PM)
  • Monday, March 20- Friday, March 24— Spring Break (6 Weeks Away)

Responsibilities for Next Week
Week B
  • Cafeteria AM— K. Quattlebaum
  • Cafeteria PM— C. Morse
  • Parking Lot AM— C. Prestridge
  • Parking Lot PM— L. Noble
  • HS Lunch— L. Noble, E. Schramm, & T. Shoemaker
  • MS Lunch— J. Teigen, Z. Stewart, J. Thomas, & J. Wilhite
  • Chapel— C. Morse
  • Detention— T. Shoemaker

*Click here for complete 16-17 Duty Schedule

Resources Worth Checking Out for Personal and Professional Growth

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Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace

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Chapter from Quick Answers for Busy Teachers

Note: the above chapter is a PDF to make it easy to print if you’d like.

Book Recommendation

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