Teacher Tip #4: Be yourself

Today was the second day of the new semester at my school. It’s way too early to say yet whether my new group of kiddos is awesome or not, but I’m very optimistic that they will be great. I have noticed one slight change I’ve made in my demeanor going into my third full year of teaching: I’m not trying to act like someone I’m not.

I’m the weird teacher. I’m the one that makes frantic noises when I can’t get papers unstuck to pass them out. I’m the one that yells at my whiteboard markers when they don’t write anymore. I’m the one that tells my students what their last name means in German.

And why shouldn’t I be, damn it?! That’s who I am.

So, here is my advice as you start the new semester: Be yourself! You are a better role model for your students when you’re not trying to fit into a mold. They are all having several concurrent identity crises on a daily basis, so don’t make them feel worse and have one yourself!


I have a unique perspective on teaching. As a young guy, I still have that “world is my oyster” perspective on life, so I am more than willing to try new things in the pursuit of happiness. I have always been a naturally happy person and don’t shy away from trying to make others see that it’s easy to be happy! Thus, the blog you’re reading. The main impetus for actually putting all the work in to getting this blog up and running? A coworker stopped me in the hall one day and actually reprimanded me for being so smiley all the time. They actually said that I shouldn’t be so happy as a teacher! My response? Screw that! I SHOULD be happy. I now smile at that coworker EVERY time I see them…and usually say something like, “Isn’t this such great day to be a teacher?!” They don’t usually smile back… Don’t be like them.

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