Educators are interesting in so many ways. We give a bit of ourselves to do a great job for our students. We spend countless hours grading, planning, learning, and grading and planning some more. We look out for the welfare of our students when maybe nobody else is. And we do all of this with a humble attitude, never trying to draw attention to ourselves. This needs to change. We need to celebrate our successes and know that it is ok.
Why do teachers shy away from promoting their success? In the quest to create a cohesive team, have we succumb to the idea that every teacher is equal? I find this completely incorrect. Each teacher probably has a unique skill set. Some connect better with hard to reach students. Some excel at integrating technology in the classroom while other may just be better teachers in a particular subject. As teachers, we must realize that it is okay to be better than our teammates in certain areas. On top of that, we need to be able to accept any accolades and recognition without feeling guilty. As I work in classrooms and see an awesome lesson, I always share that with the building administration. The administration needs to know the great things that are happening in their building. Many times the teacher will shy away from this recognition when they should be embracing it with a smile. There is no need to gloat but be proud of what you do well! Your teammates most likely will celebrate that success with you. If someone cannot handle other's success, that is on them. Don't let the fear of upstaging someone keep you from celebrating your success in a respectful way.
Now I must admit, I am in this situation now. I received an award from my school district and I am trying to follow the words just stated above. I was flattered and thankful when I received notice of this honor. Receiving this award would not have been possible without the help of my teammates. They are a great group of people to work with and learn from every day. I know that they play a big role in my success and for that I am truly thankful.
For the past week, I have received emails from the teachers I work with to congratulate me. Rather than shy away, I always respond with a thank you and I express that fact that I am proud of my accomplishment. It does not always feel right but I think it is okay. We should take pride in our accomplishments and not hide from them. This can be done without bragging or gloating. It feels so unnatural, but to feel pride in yourself is uplifting.
So I write this blog post for two reasons.
1. To thank my team for all that they do for me. You guys rock! I cannot think of a better group of people to work with every day.
2. It is okay to be proud of your accomplishments. By being proud, I am not saying that I am better than anyone else. I am just taking pride in my work. Being proud can be done with class, without showing arrogance.
Educators - It is okay to take pride in your work and show it. Be proud of what you do because your work is amazing and touches lives in ways almost no one else can!
Note: It felt weird even writing this blog post but it is out there for the world to see and judge.
I pose this question to all of you: Do we (teachers) allow ourselves to take pride in our accomplishments? I would love your thoughts as mine seem to be evolving as I write this post.