Things I Wish Were Different About Teaching: Number 7 That I could be myself at work

In teaching, you need to cultivate a ‘work’ personality and a ‘me’ personality. Some people actually seem to like this: putting on the ‘uniform’ of a suit, describing their behaviour management techniques as ‘acting’ and specifically leaving anything personal out of everything they do. I think perhaps they like it because that’s what works best in the system in place now.

I can’t work like that. I can’t separate what I do from who I am, because the two are the same thing. I can’t become passionate about an alter ego I create in the same way I can about my own personal life’s work that I put my own name and own personality into.

I don’t want to have to alter the language I use when I teach from that I would use in normal speech, because that alters how I think about what I am trying to teach. I don’t want to be ‘on’ and giving one message one minute, and ‘off’ and berating what I’ve just said in the staff room the next minute. I don’t want to do something just to tick a box but then have to spin it to make it look like I’m behind it, I want to do it because I genuinely believe in it. 

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