Do you ever find that you talk to yourself in an unkind way?
“Why did you say that?”
“You’re not a very good teacher.”
“Why can’t you get it??”
“You’re such a loser.”
People would be surprised at how hard we are on ourselves. It totally makes sense though. Our profession has Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook pages dedicated to what a ‘perfect’ classroom and teacher look and sound like. Yet, we read them and we compare ourselves and often find ourselves missing the mark.
We don’t even have to go online! We just look at the classroom bulletin boards down the hall or overhear conversations at the community hockey game to create these thoughts in our minds. Don’t get me started on Facebook rant and rave boards!
For me, I would often rehash lessons, interactions with difficult students/parents/colleagues in the evening or throughout the night. I always found myself lacking and struggled with knowing what I could have or should have done differently. As we say in SILA, I ‘should’ all over myself!
As we say in SILA, I ‘should’ all over myself!
Sometimes I was defensive and laid all the blame for the responses with those I was interacting with, but in my heart, I knew I could have handled things differently. I just didn’t know how to do it.
I also hated watching those movies and tv shows where the perfect teacher was given the imperfect class and made it look so easy to make connections and change lives! Watching those movies caused me to think that I would never be a teacher like that. Maybe that’s why shows like Mr. D became so popular.
We’d rather see the negative of our world, rather than the impossibly perfect.
Yet, shouldn’t those shows about the heroic teacher inspire us? Maybe they do for some. I think we need to recognize that there are things we can do to bring about the change we want to see in our classrooms. They don’t involve radical perfection, rather they involve learning some powerful skills.
These are the skills that are taught in a SILA Skills workshop. They are based on Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy (or DBT) and when put into practice, can truly transform a person to be the best version of themselves.
So, rather than beating yourself up with words of condemnation, you can learn to validate yourself and create an environment for change.
You can learn to say things like this to yourself:
“You’re doing the best you can.”
“I know this is hard, and I believe in you!”
“Perfection is not expected today. Tomorrow is a new day.”
“Do-overs are allowed and appreciated.”
You can learn how to talk this way to yourself. All it takes is some time and self-compassion. We are all on this journey together.
You matter too!
Check out www.SILAskills.org and sign up for a workshop today!
You will never regret the time you took to invest in yourself.