On a mission - the value of a good mission statement to guide your teaching career
Jul 02, 2020
When I was studying to become a teacher at university, I remember that one of the assignments was to write a mission statement, that outlined why I chose to become a teacher and what it was that I hoped to achieve. I remember it being a really worthwhile task, as whilst I knew that I wanted to become a teacher and had an idea of why that was, this assignment gave me the chance to articulate it in detail. It pushed me to delve deep and really consider my values, beliefs, motivations, hopes and dreams.
Unfortunately, I now have no idea where that mission statement ended up. It’s such a shame, as I would really love to be able to re-read it and look back on it. I’m sure some of my statements may have been somewhat naive and some of my values and beliefs may have changed over time, but it would be really interesting none-the-less.
Looking back on it, I now know that I underestimated the value of having a mission statement that I could regularly re-visit. It would have been so great to be able to go back to my mission statement, especially during those times that I may have been feeling a little overwhelmed, frustrated, or disillusioned, as all teachers are prone to become at some point in their career. I feel like it would have acted as a bit of a pick-me-up, and re-energised me to keep going, even when I wasn't feeling all that motivated. It also would have guided me throughout my career, helping me to decide exactly what direction I wanted to go, and where my particular interests, dreams and ambitions lay. I’m sure it would have been useful to keep altering it and re-writing it along the way, so that it grew along with me. It would have been an amazing time capsule, something to keep track of my progress and chronicle my growth as a teacher.
It would have also been very useful when trying to find a mentor. Something that I lacked during my career was a good mentor that I could rely on, no matter what school I was teaching at or what position I was in. I feel that this is something that many teachers lack unfortunately. When trying to find a mentor, it’s important to find someone who shares similar values and beliefs as you. What better way to help you find this person, than sending them your mission statement and asking them if it resonates with them?
When I first started Future Focused Teaching and Learning, I remembered the value of having a mission statement, and put a lot of thought into what my mission and vision is for the company and the impact that I want it to have in the world. Having this mission statement is now like a guiding light for me, and with every decision I make I look to my mission statement to make sure it is in alignment with what I am trying to achieve and the impact that I am aiming to have.
Going forward, I now make sure that my mission statement is prominent and visible and something that I re-visit regularly. It keeps me accountable, it helps me to attract the types of people that I most want to work with, the types of experiences I am looking for, the type of impact that I am aiming for, and moves me towards achieving my vision for for myself, my company, the people that I want to help, and the wider world.
I hope that this article has helped to inspire you to re-visit your mission statement if you already have one, or to go ahead and write one if you don’t. I would love to hear from you regarding any insights that you gained from this!
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