Be You. Always be You.

Over the past two weeks I have the opportunity to spend hours in classrooms observing teachers.  What I came away with is, you have to be you. The most powerful lessons I see come from when teachers are in “their zone.” The energy is different, the students tuned in, and the learning in palpable.

Speaking from experience, I was always borrowing, begging and searching for another great lesson when I taught. I would find the teachers I know were just killing it in the classroom and ask for the lesson and wanted to replicate that in my classroom. Often what I found was that the lesson would be good, but not as great, something was missing. I was missing. I wasn’t that other teacher and the lesson just wasn’t going to be the same.

Now I am not suggesting that we should not be collaborating because I firmly believe in it and know we are all better when we work together. I am saying, take the best parts of that collaboration and work those into your style of teaching. Going back to my observations this week, it was fascinating to see the same content delivered in different styles. You really see that content is content, but where the learning really takes off is when you have teacher that is giving their all to the lesson and the students are all in.

Ultimately I am encouraging you to be you and embrace it. Students respond to authenticity; they like knowing their teachers are fun, quirky, gaming nerds, surfers, cat lovers, enjoy bad jokes or are just simply someone who has boundless energy. Whoever you are and whatever your style embrace it, there is so much to be gained with your students.