It is a dangerous narrative to believe that at some point we could find our dream job, stand on the peak of our own greatness, or accomplish all that we are destined to do by the end of our lives. We are trained at a very early age to believe that we stop when we get what we think we want. This is ridiculous! Why is it so hard for us to welcome a life path littered with disappointments, detours, and setbacks? What we want should evolve as we learn more about who we are, what we are capable of, and what passions are worth pursuing with every fiber of our being. The journey to our authentic self is just that- a journey. We never stop. Ever.
How do we find the passion and motivation to keep going? Why is it important for us to not only pursue our dreams but bring others along with us on the journey? What ways do our stories inspire others to have the courage, excitement, and the intention to be their best selves too?
We thought about these questions a lot as we were ending 2020. It was a tumultuous year with many set backs, but it was also a great opportunity for us to reimagine the way we would like to make an impact in this world. That's why we started the Let’s K12 Better podcast and that was the impetus behind the What's Your Why, January series.
We know we're not the only ones create ripples in large and small ways; building communities of allies, accomplices, and collaborators; or meeting the moment with courage. We also believe in human potential and know that each and every one of us has the ability to build better systems and ecosystems, but many of us either don't know how or may not fully believe in our power and capacity to do so. That's why we listen to the stories of others living and pursuing their passion because it inspires us to do the same.
We are celebrated the start of season 2 of the Let’s K12 Better podcast with the What’s Your Why -a series on exploring motivation and the imperfect journey to your authentic self. We interviewed people who found the inspiration to pursue work that gives them meaning and purpose. We then closed the series by bringing our guests on to talk a bit more about motivation, storytelling, and the ways in which we take detours to find our authentic selves. Our guests:
Gail Clanton is a writer and community builder who uses her talent and passion to help transform businesses, brands, and individuals so that they reach their ultimate levels of success. In her episode, What’s Your Why? Build Your Tribe. Find Your Sparkle. with Gail Clanton, she shared with us how important it is to find your tribe, but most importantly, to lift as we climb.
Yaritza Villalba is an educator, student voice guru, and Founding President, YV Educational Resources. In her episode, What’s Your Why? Authenticity. Accountability. with Yaritza Villalba, she shows us how centering student voices, specifically the voices of marginalized students, is not only rewarding but necessary.
Dr. Lindsay Portnoy is a cognitive scientist, design thinking evangelist, School Board President, and parent. In her episode, What’s Your Why? Accessible Knowledge with Dr. Lindsay Portnoy, she discusses how she thinks about how to make research and best practices in learning more accessible and applicable for parents and educators.
Clement Townsend is a former sports journalist currently providing resources to help educators integrate media into their curriculum through his Video Journalism Pro course. In his episode, What’s Your Why? Digital Media Storytelling with Clement Townsend, he discusses why youth storytelling is not only empowering but a necessary 21st-century skill.
Missed it live? Watch it here!
Connect with these brilliant minds via their websites or on social media:
Twitter: @GailCSparkles, @inc_yv, @lportnoy, @ClementTV_
Instagram: @GailClantonSparkles, @inc_yv, @CTownsendTV
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working in edtech. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.