“What is YOUR why” Dr. Eric Thomas

Back in July, I was at an IPLI (Indiana Principal Leadership Institute) 2-day workshop when one of the other principals in my regional cohort mentioned Dr. Eric Thomas and “What is your why?” When I returned home from that great experience, the question “what is your why?” was still ringing in my head. I sent an email to our staff and challenged them to reflect on their “why.” I sent this video from Dr. Eric Thomas to them all. I changed the screen saver on my computer to “What is your why?” The signature line on my email is the same thing. Dr. Eric Thomas inspired me to remember, every single day, why I do what I do.

Fast forward to today, the day before Thanksgiving. I am sitting in my office thinking about all I have to be thankful for, and “why” I love doing what I get to do every day.  Below is a message I sent to our staff this past Friday.

The first semester is rapidly drawing to a close. We are about to enter that silly season of standardized testing, so again I ask you to reflect on “What is your why?” None of us “got into” education to dole out standardized tests, but it is the nature of the beast at this point in time.

So, what is it that causes you to get up in the mornings and come to school? What is it that drives you to do what you do? The answers may vary from person to person. Maybe part of it is you were inspired by a teacher and you want to be that inspiration for others.

As we get busy in the holidays, testing, life, etc don’t forget about your “why”. Don’t forget about what drives you. I tell people all the time I am blessed to work where I do, with the people I get to work with, serving the students and community I get to serve. I get to play school every day, I work on weekends at home. How can life be any better than that?

When life, state testing, demanding students/parents, the daily grind, etc. begin to get you down this year, remember your “why.” Remember “why” you do what you do.

Until next time………. “what is your why?”


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Tom Stoner

Christian, Principal, Husband, Father, Grandfather. I enjoy fishing, camping, reading, golf, and spending time with family (not necessarily in that order)

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