If You Are An Educator, What Is Your “Why”?

Everyone has a “why.” It informs their motivations, their purpose, their drive and commitments. When you work on behalf of children and in service of communities, your “why” is crucial. As in why did you become an educator? Why are you working with these students? Why are you working in this particular community?

My “why” is seeped in the desire to fight for social and racial justice through education. Of course, my family and my elementary school’s educators played a huge role in shaping me and my outlook.

The Moth invited me to share a part of my story. My “why” did I become an educator. You can find it here.

I hope that one day we will have a program like The Moth at Mastery Charter-Shoemaker Campus as an enrichment class or as an extra-curricular offering. The power of our students’ stories as they discover and share their “whys” will be truly palpable.

I can’t wait!

Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki
Sharif El-Mekki is the principal of Mastery Charter School–Shoemaker Campus, a neighborhood public charter school in Philadelphia that serves 750 students in grades 7-12. From 2013-2015, he was one of three principal ambassador fellows working on issues of education policy and practice with U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan.


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