I don't know if the eye roll was more for the district reputations or for my bubbling "save the world" enthusiasm, but I need to tell you all two things:
1) When I say "Every Kid, Every Day," I mean, EVERY kid, EVERY day.
There is not a single kid on this planet that doesn't deserve the best, brightest, most enthusiastic, talented teacher out there. I don't care where you live, I don't care how much money you have, I don't care if you're urban or rural or a red state or a blue state, when you send your child to school your child deserves to feel safe, loved, and like the luckiest kid on the planet to get to walk through those doors. I shouldn't have to tell people that, and in particular I should not have to tell educators that. But there it is. Sorry, not sorry.
I'll never claim to have all the answers, but I will take my "naive," "unrealistic" (yes, I've heard those) belief that I can make a positive impact on every kid that crosses my path to my grave. I'm pretty sure I got that from my mom.
2) Nobody gets to eye roll your goals or dreams.
Forgive me the Rachel Hollis moment, but you are capable of doing whatever it is you set your mind to. To quote Girl, Stop Apologizing, "You are capable of more." You are capable and nobody, not a colleague or a family member or even you get to tell you what you dreams are, how big your dreams can be, or how you set your goals and intentions to get there. If I want to go into the roughest school with the least amount of money or the lowest test scores or a terrible "Conditions of Learning" survey and try to make a difference, nobody gets to tell me otherwise. There's probably some savior complex in there somewhere, but I prefer to call it commitment to my mantra: Every kid. See number one.