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Fresh Take

What Gets You Out of Bed on a School Day?


That’s the question NEA Today challenged Facebook fans to answer in just six words.

Rochelle Gardner Barnes (pictured left) of Hollinger’s Island Elementary School in Alabama said, “Because it all starts with us.” Here’s what else she said:

“This school year, the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) began a campaign to help all of us [teachers and staff] feel positive about what we do. The MCPSS is the largest school system in the state of Alabama with over 8,000 public school employees and an enrollment of nearly 59,000 students. It’s a massive system and sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and under appreciated as a teacher. The district launched the ‘It Starts With Us!’ campaign. It has quickly become our system’s ‘motto.’ I was hooked on the phrase the minute I heard it, because I don’t think any other words could ring truer for those of us in the field of education! We, as educators, need to remind ourselves daily what an important mission we have and that it does all begin with us!”

Barnes has worked for the Mobile County School System for 20 years—14 of them as a paraprofessional, before she returned to school and became a special education teacher.

Other great answers we heard:

“Their tomorrow is my mission today.”
—Steve Davidson

“I get to go to school.”
—Sue Geerling Cesar

“My responsibilities—I am the teacher!”
—Jane Melroy

“Teaching, the job with a promise.”
—Teri Mavity Howard

“Another opportunity to make a difference.”
—Pat Potter

“Empowering minds; building bridges; changing lives.”
—Sarah Jordan

“Another opportunity to learn something today.”
—Laura Gonzalez

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