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The Work, the Gap, the Mission

By Dave Stuart Jr.

This blog is about the work, the gap, and the mission.

The work is teaching. Whether you read as a coach or an admin or a superintendent or a teacher, what we want is for teaching to be as great as it can be. We believe there's an inherent nobility to teaching, as well as an irreplaceability. It is, always has been, and always will be a distinctly beautiful and important thing that happens when a person seeks to replicate something they possess — some knowledge or skill or attitude — into someone who does not possess it to the same degree.

That's teaching. That's the work. We're all engaged in it, in all the spheres of our lives.

The gap is that distance between the work and our current experience of it. For most of us, the daily experience of teaching is not a noble or beautiful pursuit. Instead, it's frenetic and frustrating, a ceaseless striving that grinds away at our souls. And so, teacher attrition is what it is: high. And enrollment in teacher preparation programs is what it is: declining. Kids sitting in classrooms led by overstressed and haggard professionals don't daydream about becoming overstressed and haggard someday.

So they don't. And too frequently, we get stuck in survival mode or burnout. Or we quit.

That's the gap.

The mission is to close the gap. This blog isn't about a guy with a computer punching out words. It's a group of like-hearted people around the world who are aligned around this idea that the gap should shrink¬†and that it can. How do we make teaching better, for ourselves and our colleagues? This is way beyond trite rhetoric about “what's best for kids” — it's what's best for everyone, the long-term flourishing of everybody.

That's the mission.

And this post is just me saying thank you, that it's a privilege to serve alongside you.

Here's to a year of doing the work and diminishing the gap — one interaction, one lesson, one day at a time.

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