A few days ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to attend ASCD’s Leader to Leader (#ASCDL2L) conference as part of the Emerging Leader Class of 2017.
The Emerging Leaders are an incredible, inspiring group of people. Each person I met was as accomplished and successful as the next. I just kept thinking – how do I fit in here? I’m just a teacher, just regular old me!
Part of the weekend involved creating an action plan for your work in the next year. People were coming up with incredible ideas – write a book, design a website, develop a business, create a new program. I was at a loss. I’m just a teacher, what can I do?
Now, there was nothing these amazing individuals did to make me feel less. This narrative was created entirely inside of my own head, a feeling like what I’ve contributed is not as valuable as what someone else has contributed. Although I’m still not sure exactly what the future holds for me professionally, I’ve realized that whatever I decide to do – the change has to start with me.
There seems to be a dark and diminishing political smog surrounding teaching and public schools, and I have allowed it to impact how I see myself and my work. I’ve bought into a narrative that is simply not true.
Words matter – I am not just a teacher. I am a teacher! It’s time to reclaim the narrative. My journey is starting with what I tell myself about what I do, and how I portray it to the world.
As teachers, we are our own best advocates, and we need to feel empowered, as individuals, to do the work required to write our own story.
Yes, I am a teacher, I love it, and I can’t wait to tell you more.