Monday, May 19, 2014

40 Days 40 Words: Authentic

I wrote early about the word fake so today I want to go in the opposite direction to authentic.  Let me tell you it's hard being authentic, especially in education. I truly think that we have lost something in education by working toward making classrooms and teachers equal, all on the same page, using the same types of strategies etc. Yes we have gained also. There's nothing wrong with working toward improving instruction but I think that somewhere in the process we have lost the "human" aspect of the teaching experience. When you remove the humanness than people teach because its a job not because its a calling. The expression of self through teaching has always been it's biggest asset.  It's how we teach kids to be themselves, to love learning, and to recognize and correct mistakes without letting those mistakes diminish them.

Doubt is probably the biggest enemy of being "real" or authentic. We doubt that if we are who we really are that people won't like us, we will be accused of not doing our jobs, or we won't be "the best." People in education are by nature "people pleasers". We like to know we are doing the "right" thing. Sometimes people use that against us and we start to feel wishy-washy, adrift in a sea of doubt, unable to make sound decisions.

When we are the person we are truly meant to be we spread magic to those around us, including our students. Now this doesn't mean we can be any ole way we please, being authentic isn't an excuse to slack. Being authentic means you bring a piece of who you are into everything you do. The piece you bring should be the best you have!  Now beware because fakes try to spread magic too but theirs is just an illusion; difficult to see through and seemingly wonderful but it is not real. When people are fake it taints everything they do whether they recognize it or not.

Discover your own path, don't try to fit someone else's idea of what life (or being a teacher) should be like. Light your path with stars, and dreams and yes, lots of hard work. Don't be afraid to pause on your path and catch your breath or get a sense of direction. Most of all, along the path be real, listen to your heart, muse about things and get to know your own thoughts, listen to all viewpoints but in the end choose the one that is right for you. Think, speak, and act in harmony.
Thanks for sharing 40 Days 40 Words with me. Until the next word....BE REAL

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