Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Education Keynote Speaker, Developing Resilience and Overcoming Adversity

Why Did the Country Not “See” Your Sacrifice?


In one of my recent motivational talks on educators developing resilience and overcoming adversity, an administrator at a large university timidly raised her hand and asked:

“Scott, while I appreciate the sacrifice of the healthcare profession, first responders and the like, why does it seem that my fellow educators have been ignored for the efforts over the past 18 months?”

She made an excellent point and I agree that it’s mystifying.

My heartfelt answer was direct and simple: “You have been there through the worst of it. Through the most bleak and awful. You have shown courage and determination that those outside of education cannot imagine.”

I am not alone in that sentiment.

Teachers Sacrifice

Let me start by offering a quote from an excellent opinion piece by former educator Charis Grainger-Mbuga that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (May 5, 2021):

“It is easy to use teachers as scapegoats when so much around us seems to be falling apart. Certainly, a global pandemic qualifies as a true indicator of things falling apart. But through it all, each one of us has leaned heavily on teachers to help us not only instruct our children in academics, but also to sustain our very society…”

In another insightful article on the topic written for NPR (April 19, 2021), ‘We Need To Be Nurtured, Too’: Many Teachers Say They’re Reaching A Breaking Point, writer Kavitha Cardoza, stated:

“In March 2020, when schools moved online, teachers across the U.S. had to completely reimagine their approach to education, often with no training or time to prepare. For many, it was a rough transition.

Teachers told NPR they’ve spent the past year experimenting with different methods of online and hybrid teaching, while also providing tech support for their students and families. Many say they routinely work 12-hour days and on weekends, yet struggle to form relationships with children virtually…”

No One Understands the True Sacrifice

In addition to the educator friends and family members who have inspired me, my daily work and preparation in delivering motivational speeches, along with seminars and breakout sessions, I understand sacrifice all too well.

However, if there is one lesson I’ve learned, it is that no one understands the challenges and the need for resiliency for those in education – as do educators. “Sacrifice” and overcoming adversity can be a terribly lonely and thankless road.

As a profession, it is essential that we have a clear vision for ourselves, the mindset to have the ability to see and respect our mutual accomplishments and the daily grit to work through our problems.

In fact, it was my injury that led me to develop the philosophy of Vision—Mindset—Grit. As I put myself through grueling training and rehab sessions, often 12 hours a day, I realized that while people tried to say the right things, but they often took my sacrifice and work for granted. They didn’t see the worst days and the worst of it.

Yes, I went further than anyone could have predicted, but nothing, nothing was guaranteed beyond sweat. I know first-hand, there has been a lot of talk about educators over the past 18 months, but only you know the 12-hour days, sweat and tears. We must all support one another and rise together. We must see ourselves as winners and never as victims.

You are noble, you all make a difference and now it is time for us to embrace those qualities in one another.


For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Motivational Education Speaker on Overcoming Adversity and Developing Resilience for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

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