05 August 2014

Mentoring: Know Thyself

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I'm mentoring a teacher new to the district this year, so my self-reflection machine is probably going to be in hyper-drive as I reflect on my own practice and attempt to guide hers.

I had several conversations this summer about the importance of confidence and attitude in contributing to your capacity for professional growth and excellence. If you don't think you're exactly the teacher those kids in your room need, your students will have a harder time believing it themselves. At the same time, an ability to reflect and/or invite transparent relationships is weighted into the formula. Without knowing your weaknesses or areas of growth, you cannot know where to take risks to invite growth.

Representing the two components of my formula are two ways of viewing yourself that I call "Your Resume" and "Your Mirror." 

Your Resume flaunts your successes, unapologetically advertises your strengths, and paints a portrait of who you are and what your classroom looks like on the best of days. Your Resume is an idealist. Your Resume is the teacher all the kids think fondly of at graduation and reunions, the colleague everyone wants to collaborate with, and the shining star your boss mentions as an example of their leadership. ;) 

Your Mirror points out your weaknesses, reminds you of your insecurities, and always tells the truth. Your Mirror is a realist. Your Mirror is the teacher that knows sometimes lessons don't go well, every teacher cannot reach every student, and that if you're doing something in life really well, it's probably to the detriment of something else.

So who am I?

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Thanks for sharing!