I have been surrounded by greatness for a while now it seems. It has been awe-inspiring to hear the stories of what amazing educators are doing in their schools as I go to conferences. It has been profound to see the supposed ease with which some of my colleagues at Oregon Middle School navigate their days. I am not there yet, I don’t know if I will ever be.
So this past year has been one of inspiration, but it has also been one of frustration. I have left many conversations wondering why I am not doing that, why I didn’t think of that. Read a book and wondered how I can become that teacher. Heard a speaker and wondered what I need to change to be them. And yet, tonight I realized that I will never be someone else. That when I try to be someone else that I lose the very essence that makes me me. That when we try to imitate, even the best ideas, they will never fully be what we hope for them to be but only shadows of the original.
So do be inspired this summer. Read a book, start a conversation, go to a conference and meet amazing people. Learn from them. Create with them. But don’t try to be them. You never will be. I never will be. We can only be ourselves so change accordingly. Find ideas that will inspire you to be a better teacher but don’t try to be someone else. It will never work, our students will see right through it. Instead make a vow to better yourself, trust your own ideas, and know that you, you are amazing too. You may just not have discovered it yet.
I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA but originally from Denmark, who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade. 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. The second edition of my first book “Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students” is available for pre-order now. Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press. Join our Passionate Learners community on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.