Why would an educator make a statement like this?
Especially one who proclaims to be positive and has even written a post or two on the subject.
Because I am tired of beating myself up and watching others do the same. We are causing ourselves too much stress by basing our self-worth on best moments. And we are doing the same to our students. And we must stop!
Our goal should be to create highlight reels.
Do we think Beyonce’ always looks the way she does? Does Lebron make every shot? Is everything that Todd Whitaker writes and says awesome? Well, quite possibly the latter is true, but you get the point. Oftentimes we are witnessing people’s best moments and yet we are constantly measuring ourselves against them. It is okay for us to strive for these moments, but it is not okay to constantly measure ourselves against them.
What we view on television or see in magazines are moments and images that may have taken hours or years to create. But we forget this. They are moments and yet they become still frames ingrained in our minds.
We know that many people strive to look like the photos they see in magazines or the images they see on tv. But what happens when they don’t? Their self-esteem becomes damaged and they begin to think less of themselves.
I even believe that Twitter and a PLN can have a negative effect on us if we are not careful. My PLN is phenomenal and the people who I am fortunate enough to be connected with inspire me each and every day. Yet, there are times when I read about what folks are doing and I think to myself
"Wow, I’m not accomplishing anything even comparable to that"
"I don’t even know what that is and she’s using it in her school every day!"
I must continue to use my PLN for inspiration, not self-evaluation.
The same goes for our students. We spend more time pointing out and remediating our students’ weaknesses than we do celebrating their strengths. I think this is a huge mistake and actually wrote a short piece about this several months ago titled Celebrate the One.
Don’t confront me with my failures; I had not forgotten them.
So there you have it. Start today. Start now. Aim high and dream big. But remember you are only creating a highlight reel, not an entire show! Ease up on yourself. You are not as good as you think you should be. And that’s okay, because I bet you’re pretty damn good!