We are the World

Slide1Where were you on March 7, 1985?

I know readers will answer that in a variety of ways. Some of you were children, while some were not even born yet. Some of you were in various stages of adulthood.

I was in my 3rd year of teaching. I was teaching 4th grade at a small Catholic school in Denison, Iowa. On March 7, 1985 our soon-to-be favorite and most played song was released.


I never tired of hearing my students belt out every word of the song.

“We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me”

My students loved my giant boom box. Many often suggested cassette tapes for me to  purchase. So, of course I had to get We are the World!  One of my fondest memories was our spring field trip to Sioux City to see the circus. I brought my boom box (did I say it was giant) and several cassettes to pass the time with 25 4th graders. Once the kids started playing We are the World they didn’t stop. They played the song over and over. They sang at the top of their lungs.

A spring day.

Windows wide open.

Children singing.

It was beautiful!

Tonight, I learned of the 30-year release date (tomorrow). At first I felt “old.” Then I pondered the happy memories. I haven’t stopped singing the song in my mind. It was much easier to find the song on YouTube than to figure out if I still had the cassette. I do know I still have the boom box!

I decided to do some additional reading. I learned, as the artists assembled to record the iconic song on Jan. 28, 1985, (to be released on March 7) there was a sign above the entrance that read:

“Check your egos at the door”

An article on Rolling Stones mentioned that “Producer Quincy Jones had placed it there because dozens of the nation’s biggest singers were walking through that door, and he had exactly one night to cut a record that would save lives by raising money to help alleviate a famine in Ethiopia.”

The mention of the sign reminded me of yesterday’s post “Do you have a Coach?”  In that post I quoted an article titled, “Why Leaders are Easier to Coach than Followers.”

“In order to benefit from coaching, you need to be willing to put your ego aside and accept guidance and criticism, as painful as it may be.”

For coaching programs to be successful, both teachers and coaches should check their egos at the door. Egos evoke conflict. It is not uncommon for coaches to experience conflict – especially as they are trying to establish themselves in a new position. If they encounter rejection, it is important to not take the rejection as personal. As author Miguel Ruiz states in the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom,

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”

Coaching and teaching are a giving jobs. We all help make days brighter. Maybe we have a new theme song! Together we can make a huge impact!

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slice of lifeMarch 2015, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge! This is post #6. More Slice of Life posts from other bloggers can be found on Two Writing Teachers.

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  • marcaureled 6 Mar

    Your post really resonated with me. I am fortunate to work with a dedicated literacy coach. Honestly it has been hard at times, but I am growing in my understanding of her role and trying to be more collaborative. Thank you!

    • Kathy Perret 7 Mar

      Thank you for your comments. You hit on an important concept. We often provide coaches training for their positions, but we may fall short in developing the skills with teachers as well. Working together is a two way street. When coaching is approached as a collaborative partnership to enhance instruction for students, it can be a win-win.


  • Sheri Edwards 6 Mar


    I love that song and I love how you’ve morphed it for us.

    “Leave your egos at the door.” What a powerful story. I’m sharing this post with my principal and staff. It’s awesome.

    Thank you for writing your thoughts, connecting the history to education today.

    Sheri @grammasheri

    • Kathy Perret 7 Mar

      Thanks for your comments, Sheri. I appreciate your sharing the post with others. Perhaps it will evoke conversations.


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