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Different – The New Swear Word?

Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to why I keep getting labeled so different as a teacher. Often the word is used to describe me in relation to other educators and just how “different” I am. It seldom appears to be a compliment but more a shunning tool, a way to divide teachers rather than unite us.

So I have had enough of defending myself from the label. Maybe I am diffent, maybe I am not. Either way, the next time I am called different, I will respond with a thank you. I am reclaiming the connotation of the word “different.”. No more feeling the need to defend myself or ask questions, just acceptance of the word as a blessing. Who’s with me?

2 thoughts on “Different – The New Swear Word?”

  1. Seems to me that one of the roots of the word 'differentiation' that we're so big on in education is 'different'… we make distinctions between students in order to better meet their needs and help them succeed.

  2. I don't think you're alone. There are a lot of "different" teachers out there who work in isolation and are misunderstood or even vilified. Thank you for writing about your classroom experience and your philosophy. I've enjoyed reading your blog and I identify with your struggle to teach well and defend your actions from those who are more comfortable with the way things have always been. Our profession is changing and teacher leaders have the not-so-glamorous job of forging the path. We get the blisters and scratches for going out in front, but the track we leave behind will be a starting point for those who will follow with less judgment or fear.

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