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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Reflection: Loyalty

Being loyal is good thing, unless you are loyal to a fault (or more specifically, to the detriment of your own well-being). That's just plain stupid.

I have been being plain stupid. 

When I believe in something, I stick with it. I adjust my own life to promote it, even if it isn't easy or convenient. I throw myself into it, sometimes even sacrificing other things that are equally or even more important.

As disturbing and unsettling as it is when you initially discover that the person or the thing or the entity which you have been so loyal does not return the sentiment, there is freedom in this realization as well.

It's jolting, but it wises you up. It causes you to re-evaluate your loyalties.

I was passed over for a promotion recently by a system to which and by people to whom I've been loyal for a long time. I was hurt at first because ... I have an ego, but upon reflecting, I realize that those doing the hiring did me a favor. They opened my eyes. I opened my eyes.

This wasn't about me. This wasn't about loyalty. This was about putting someone who was right for the position in the position. (The person who was hired is going to do a marvelous job and she IS right for the position.) The more I think about the position to which I applied (and was encouraged to do so by one of the people doing the hiring) the more I realize that I was fiercely loyal enough that I would've stretched myself, acrobatically to fit the mold of what the position would've required of me and that I would've been miserable in doing so, and would've made everyone else around me miserable too.

It also forced me to reflect upon to what or to whom I owe my loyalties and the bottom line is--> I owe my loyalties to my students. No one else. A big part of my philosophy of teaching is that if it's not good for students, don't do it or do it enough to satisfy the powers that be and move on with things that ARE good for students.

It doesn't matter where I teach; it is the students who matter. I am loyal to the profession. It is an honor to teach the young. Put me anywhere and I will be loyal to the people sitting in my classroom whether the system that employs me is loyal to me or not.

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