I've never had any sales or marketing experience, and I'm not sure I'd be all that great at it. I'd probably feel bad about convincing or encouraging people to buy things they might not really need or can afford. I've realized over the years that I really am in sales though. It's not something I necessarily understood at the start of my career. It took some time to fully realize and take on the persona of a salesman, but it's something that has become part of my classroom culture. In fact, it's part of my job description, and I feel no guilt whatsoever.
When I first came to the quote above by Dave Burgess, I began thinking of all the ways I turn into a salesman during the first few weeks of school, since that's where I currently am. The beginning of the year is especially like one big sales pitch in my room, and my audience hears many of my pitches over and over again.
"Did you know that Mrs. Snyder sends me the best kids in the whole school?"
"I'm surrounded by greatness."
"You're all full of greatness."
"What are you full of?" They all say, "Greatness!"
"I loved you before I even met you."
"I'm so glad that you are all can-doers. I know none of you would dream of throwing your pencil on the floor, crossing your arms, and crying like a baby." (A demonstration that evokes laughter always accompanies these words. I say them often when we're about to do something that will require some risk-taking. I rarely get tears anymore.)
"Mrs. Palmer, it is your lucky day. The best kids in the school have finally arrived. You're the luckiest librarian on the planet." (The music and PE teachers hear the same speech.)
"I know you all love it when you get to work on another challenging math problem."
"Reading is one of my all-time favorite things to do."
"Have I mentioned that I love to read?"
"I don't know if I told you this before, but I really love to read."
"I know you guys have been dying for another book."
"Why does reading make you feel good?" (I use "Why" instead of "Does.")
"That's when you say, 'Ugh!'" (When I ring the chimes to bring writing workshop or read to self to a close, I say these words, training them to dislike the fact that writing and reading have to stop for the moment.)
Reading the Burgess quote and making this list heightened my awareness of the ways I sell my product. More importantly, it sparked a conscious need for other sales avenues in my practice. What part of my product line needs better promotion? How can I sell these products even more successfully? Simply put, I'm in the business of selling, and this is the most important product any of these kids will ever invest in.