When my students screw up, when my children upset me, when my husband fails to say the right thing, I tend to give them a break. Depending on the problem or the screw up we usually talk through it if need be and then we move on. Laying to rest whatever emotions were stirred up, moving on and moving forward.
But when I screw up, when I say something others can take as hurtful, when I write something that starts negative emotions in others, I tend to beat myself up. I think many of us do as adults. We criticize ourselves, we play it over and over, and we never give up on our own flaws. We are often the first ones to point them out as if someone in society keeps a tally of just how many times we have pointed out that we are not perfect, that we are not an inspiration, that we are not awesome. Just to make sure we know our place.
It is time we forgive ourselves, it is time to give ourselves a break. We don’t have to go around heralding our own amazement, but perhaps just stop the constant self berating that we as teachers are so good at. When someone compliments us, say thank you. When someone tells us that we make a difference, agree. When someone points out the positive, smile and carry it with you. Lightning will not strike from a an empty sky if we take a little pride in ourselves, I promise.
We are so good at giving each other a break, why not extend the favor to ourselves?
I am a passionate (female) 5th grade teacher in Wisconsin, USA, proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day. First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today” will be released this fall from PLPress. Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.