Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Being Me

“Are you an imitation or an original? Being original doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be famous, but I can promise you that if you’re not an original, you have no hope of being memorable. There’s no such thing as a famous Elvis impersonator.”

When I started hiking with my hiking group, I fell a lot. I mean A LOT. I worked hard with keeping up with everyone’s pace. I looked at what people were carrying in their packs and tried to put a lot of the same things in mind. I thought the more I hiked, the better I would get at it.

Then I realized that I was trying too hard to be like everyone else. I wanted to be able to hike at their pace and carry all the weight that they did. But it was impossible to do this. And it just made me miserable.

Once I learned to hike at a pace that I was comfortable with, I was actually able to keep up with everyone and didn’t fall once. I carried what was important to me in the weight that I was comfortable with. The hikes became more enjoyable.

This is how I felt when I began teaching. I observed experienced teachers and their classrooms. I wrote down things they did that seemed to make their class successful. Then I went back to my own classroom and tried to replicate what that teacher did. But, as you can probably figure out, it didn’t have the same effect on my class and I wasn’t as successful as the original teacher was.

It took me awhile to learn that there are many factors involved in making my class a success. These include my own personality, the students’ individual personalities, my teaching style, and the students’ learning styles. Nothing I could do would make my class be exactly like the other teacher’s class.

I realized that I could take things that I learned from others and adapt them to my class. Certain things won’t work for me because that isn’t my style of teaching. Doing this would make my teaching seem fake and impersonal which would not make it the best thing for my class. I could try some of the things to see if I could adapt it to work and I might find out different ways to teach a lesson.

The main thing I learned what that I didn’t have to be exactly like another teacher in order to be an effective teacher. I learned that by being me, I would enjoy teaching better and I believe my students would enjoy learning better.

Have you ever tried to be like someone else? How did it turn out? Please share.

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