Recently, a relative told me that I am always in teacher mode and need to shut it off sometimes. It took me aback for a moment because I try hard not to talk about work during off hours. Sometimes, I try hard to keep my mouth closed even though I know the latest research or current events on a variety of topics. I just sit, listen and observe the conversation or interactions.
I admit that I’m somewhat of a nerd and enjoy searching for the latest news and trends in education, current events, politics and more. Also, I enjoy politely conversing about many topics with friends, family, and colleagues. When this happens, no one in the conversation is trying to show off how much he or she knows but trying to engage socially with like minds. Engaging socially is healthy for one’s mind, body and spirit. So, why is it so difficult to get a healthy dose of conversation and show how much knowledge and wisdom one possesses.
As educators, we are always encouraging our students to exhibit how much they have learned throughout a project or activity. We ask the children probing questions and prompt them to turn and talk to their neighbors. We encourage them to research important information, facts, and opinions. We ask open-ended questions and tell children to cite their evidence. We want them to explain their answers and thought process as we assess their critical thinking skills. We are all about the CCSS (Common Core State Standards). We tell our students to “Show your knowledge.” This is our practice as educators and it is hard to shake.
Why are educators afraid to express how much knowledge and experience they have? Lately, in politics, a non-educator was confirmed to serve as Secretary of Education. People were outraged that someone without education experience was placed in charged of the Department of Education. Public school teachers and principals must receive appropriate state certificates and degrees to teach the nation’s children. These public school educators must also participate in required hours of professional development to be eligible to renew their certification every four to five years.
Educators participate in Professional Learning Communities (PLC), book studies, grade level team meetings and instructional leadership teams (ILT). They collaborate, analyze data and plan together. They can recite the latest best practices and implement the most current instructional strategies. Educators constantly take courses or pursue higher degrees to improve professionally and personally. Great educators are lifelong learners and they take their craft seriously.
So, to all educators across this country and the world be proud of your knowledge. Never be ashamed of what you know and learn. Your wisdom and experience can change someone’s life. That someone can be a child, colleague, friend or a stranger. Your dialogue should show your intelligence, love for your craft and pride in what you know. Now, be cognizant in your delivery, meaning step out of teacher mode. Share what you know in a way that resonates confidence but not arrogance. Overall, don’t be ashamed of your knowledge!
Here are a few quotes about intelligence. Review, muse, and post some or all in your classroom or office.
“The fundamental cause of trouble in that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” Betrand Russell
“An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.” Victor Hugo
“Bravery is a willing decision to do what must be done. Fear is a cancer that is cured only by doing what must be done, backed by an intelligent open mind.” Corey Aaron Burkes
“Wisdom is nothing more that the marriage of intelligence and compassion.” Vera Nazarian
“To be wise means to know when to stay silent.” Kamand Kojouri
“One’s work may be finished one day, but one’s education never.” Alexandre Dumas
Check out the Resource Page. We are reading Mindfulness for Teachers: Simple Skills for Peace and Productivity in the Classroom.
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