Be You: Everyone Else is Taken

Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t quite feel as though you fit in? Perhaps it was back in high school? Maybe you have a certain group of friends where you never quite feel at ease? Do you struggle to find common ground with people at work?

For years I thought the problem was me. I would try to be like a chameleon, but you know what? It was exhausting trying to pretend that I care about things like fashion, handbags and overseas holidays. I like books. And music. And sitting on the lounge for hours happily daydreaming.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not for one minute suggesting that I’m somehow better or more sophisticated than others. If fashion is your thing, pursue it wholeheartedly. If you love to explore the world, then work to save for your next trip and spend 3 months in Europe,

But here’s the thing – each of us can only be ourselves. I can’t pretend to enjoy Star Wars any more than my husband can pretend he wants to spend all night discussing world politics. And that’s a good thing, because if we all wanted to grow up and be a doctor, who would teach in schools? Who would build the hospitals? The world needs you.

How does this apply to teaching?
I remember a student I had when I was young. She was a lovely teenager and a good pianist. But our sense of humour was very different and we just didn’t really click. If you spend all day, every day, trying to be someone you aren’t, you’ll get exhausted and eventually go a little nuts.

If people don’t want you as their teacher because they just don’t click with you, don’t worry. That’s no reflection on your teaching skills. It’s a simple recognition that of the 6 billion or so people on the planet, you don’t have to get along magnificently with all of them.

So be yourself and the right students will come.

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