Saturday, June 11, 2011

. . .

“One reason we struggle with insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.”
- Steven Furtick

I found this on my incredible friend Geales's blog (who I'll see next week at Institute!!!), and I cannot think of a more perfect quote for me right now.

One of the last things we did today (after a Diversity and Inclusiveness discussion, Professionalism talk, and a panel with community parents) was listen to a panel of second-year corps members talk about their experiences from last year and the things they did well/will do better next year. It was incredibly inspiring and very helpful, as they gave a lot of specific strategies that they used to overcome anxieties, establish professional caring relationships with their students, and embed themselves in their communities.

And yet, while the panel was one of the best panels we've had all week, I kept fighting back a twinge of doubt. Sure, she was able to do this, but she has a more forceful personality. Sure, he was able to do that because he's a guy and that'd never work with a female teacher. Sure, they were successful because of X, Y, or Z, and those aren't qualities that I don't know if I have.

It was an hour of mixed emotions. But then I remembered the quote above, which I'd read on her blog last night. And I remembered that behind these corps members' successes and confidence now, there were months of struggle and leaps in personal growth (and we all know personal growth is one of the hardest things sometimes).

So on top of my flexibility mantra, I'm going to have to add that quote. It's so inspiring and calming. And hopefully someday, I'll be in their shoes and my past years of teaching will have a highlight reel of incredible student gains and accomplishments that people can look at when preparing for their own classrooms.

Until then, in the words of another 2nd-year corps member, you can't share a testimonial until you've been tested.

Bring on the test. Me and my kids will be ready.

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... A few thoughts to pass the time...