Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unshakeable-Chapter 1

Hi friends!
Yesterday, I told you about a book I started reading a couple of weeks ago. I have almost finished it, but I am really enjoying taking my time and soaking in all of the advice, resources, and suggestions I have come across. I am so excited to start the school year and create some new habits to make me a more balanced person all around, and to not easily be "shaken" by circumstances or situations. I think this book appealed to me so much because of my personality type (I have a feeling a lot of you are going to know exactly what I am talking about). We will talk more about that in chapters to come...

Chapter 1 is all about sharing your authentic self so that you can bring passion and energy to your teaching. In this chapter, Angela talks about what it looks like to be your true self in the classroom and why that is so important. While acting and "putting on a show" is okay at times in order to get our students' attention, we must also be willing to be transparent with them and show them who we truly are. I couldn't help but think about times I have sat in workshops or professional development seminars. The times I felt most connected with the speaker was when they were sharing who they truly were as a person. Life experiences...funny moments...things that helped me relate to them. When I could relate to them, I felt like I walked away having learned so much.

Think about this through the eyes of our students. If all they see is someone who is anxious to get through the lesson, in a hurry to get all of the standards covered, reading straight from the lesson plans, etc etc...they are never going to relate and they will struggle to find meaning in what we are teaching. It is important that we stop to make their learning memorable by sharing a funny story or relating the topic to the outside world. As they begin to feel connected to us as people, they are going to open themselves up and learn so much more from us as teachers.

There are so many things that stood out to me in this chapter, but the above spoke the loudest! I am a somewhat shy person (until I get to know someone). I would definitely have called myself introverted when I first began teaching. While I have come a LONG WAY since I first started teaching, I am nowhere near extroverted now. One thing I struggle with the most is that I CONSTANTLY compare myself to others. Many times I have heard of teachers who dance, sing, rap, dress up, etc in their classrooms and I think to myself how much the kids must LOVE that! Then, I almost always start beating myself up for not doing the same. Why don't I dance or rap funny little things to my students?? (I have a feeling the first time I did, they would all be willing to tell you why)

Reading this chapter and especially the above highlighted part made me feel soooo much better. I have to realize that if I am real and authentic with my kids, they are going to love me for ME, not for someone I am imitating. Each of us has our own special qualities that make us the teachers we are. Those qualities paired with the love we have for our students will make us the absolute best teachers we can be if we will simply use them to build meaningful relationships with them. Plus, being yourself leaves you far less stressed than always feeling like you need to measure up to something that just doesn't match your personality. This doesn't mean be complacent, you should still always push yourself to be the best you can be and to grow as an individual and a teacher, but don't be fake with your students. JUST BE YOU!!!

What are your thoughts about this? Have any of you ever struggled with these kind of feelings? How do you share your TRUE authentic self with your students on a regular basis??

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