Purpose is often thrown around in everyday conversation, but what does it mean to you? This article will help you to begin unravelling your purpose as a teacher.
Unravelling your life purpose as a teacher
Purpose. It’s a word that’s often thrown around in everyday conversation - but have you ever stopped to think about what it means to you?
To me, purpose is a deep-seated sense of self. It’s what gives our life meaning, drives our behaviour and adds a spring to our step.
It’s also the feeling that dawns on you when you’re busy working through the daily motions. You know, that invincible pull, occasionally followed by an internal whisper…
What’s it all for?
Why am I here?
And is there something that’s bigger than myself?
Purpose is a simple word with a profoundly layered meaning. Unlike a goal, purpose has no defined boundaries or a clear end date. It can’t be achieved by hitting a KPI, milestone or even through external validation.
And as humans, we’re gifted with the capacity to reflect and make sense of our lives. This is why so many of us are pulled toward to need to give our life meaning.
Unravelling our purpose takes a little digging. But those who have uncovered their purpose often report a higher level of mental and physical wellbeing (3).
And I’m guessing that’s why you’re here, so you can begin to peel back the layers and find your life purpose as a teacher.
Your purpose as a teacher
There are coaches and educators who have dedicated their lives to studying purpose, and there’s one thing that they widely agree on: Purpose is the intersection of these questions…
Finding what you love to do is the art of pinpointing what totally sets your soul on fire. What gives you the greatest sense of joy and fulfillment in this world? And how does that help people, while you’re at it?
For teachers, it may be all those in-between moments that add meaning…
The child you comforted who’s having a rough time at home.
The child you encouraged to do something that scared them.
The child who you instilled a love of learning.
I’m still unpacking my purpose, as many of us are, but I invite you to come on this journey with me.
Finding your purpose through the art of self-reflection
Unravelling your purpose as a teacher isn’t something that’s done in one afternoon.
Finding the point where passion, talent and benefit to others meet requires some deep self-reflection.
Here are some soul-baring questions for you to ask yourself, so you can look in the mirror and start to unravel your purpose.
These questions are here to create a space for your own reflection, so you can begin to unpack your purpose and find your place in the world. There are no right or wrong answers, as examining your life comes from deep within.
Ponder them and observe your answers. And I hope you find the purpose you’re looking for.
I’m Lill, a rural teacher, life-long learner and the founder of The Teacher Collection. I started The Teacher Collection as a support network to strengthen the emotional and mental wellbeing of teachers, children and adults. As a teacher who has grappled with overwhelm and burnout, I have a firm interest in creating a safe space for guidance and support. Thank you for being here.
- The Resilience Project. (2021). Season 3 Episode 3 The Academy of Imperfection with Ben Crowe. [Podcast].
Brown, B. (2020). Pressing on with Purpose [Blog]. Retrieved from: https://brenebrown.com/blog/2020/08/31/pressing-on-with-purpose/#close-popup
Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: a life-span perspective. Journal of Gerontology. DOI: 10.1093/geronj/42.1.44.
- Wood, K. (2021). How to find your purpose in life and make yourself a better person. [Blog]. Retrieved from: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-find-your-lifes-purpose-and-make-yourself-better-person.html
- Beyond Blue (2021). Not Alone Podcast Season 2: Purpose- How do I find it again? [Podcast].