Saturday, June 25, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

I work with college students who are being prepared to become teachers. As such, they are always in a state of "becoming." As they learn I know that they wrestle with their identities - who are they? Students or teachers? How do they transition from being a good college student to a good teacher? Is the shift obvious or does it happen subtly over time? After all, just because you walk in a graduation ceremony doesn't mean you're suddenly a good teacher.

Every one of our journeys follow a similar path. Just because I wore a white dress and exchanged vows in a ceremony didn't mean I really knew how to be a wife. Just because I went through the pains of labor didn't mean I knew what it took to be a mom. And when I had my first book published didn't mean I knew all that it took to be a good author.

Experience teaches.

Are you open to the experiences that help shape who you are "becoming"? Can you allow those placed in your life to trigger your transformation? Will you recognize what it is that you lack and seek out what it takes to live out your new roles and responsibilities? It's up to you - we are participants in our own transformations. It doesn't happen "to" us - it happens "with" us.

Parents, students, administrators, and the general public all contribute to a teacher's professional identity. Our interactions with and on behalf of kids transform us.

Who in your life is participating in your transformation?