Recently I had the shock of getting to know a couple of people whose character/ demeanour/ personality filled me with curiosity. They appear to lack any discernible measure of egotism. They demonstrate excellence – not just small-pond admiration – and yet are also kind and humble, thoughtful and nuanced, assume the best of others and try to bring out the best in others. Surprise, surprise, they are teachers, however their lack of egotism is what really draws me to them.
This gives me great pause, because I realise this evening that for the entirety of my career, including during my BEd., while working in an Autism centre, in my first job and in my current position, I have had to battle against, prove myself, impress, or try to outdo countless teachers, administrators, or pedagogues and their massive, massive egos. And to be perfectly honest, I have a pretty sizeable ego too, so I am certainly part of the problem.
I am really shaken by this realisation. I actually spent a fair bit of time just now coming up with a list of examples of horrible, ego-driven interactions – I had at least eight and counting – but they were all so negative and nasty that I didn’t feel like I could share them with you, dear readers. You don’t deserve it.
The individuals of the first paragraph have an aura of positivity, but it’s not a bulls*&$, positive psychology, smile your clinical depression away kind of positivity. Nor is their positivity unrelenting – I have witnessed them call out a pedagogical trash fire when they see one. And I know they haven’t just had better luck with their teaching experiences than I have either. Their positivity seems to be generated by an authentic sense of purpose (I dunno, it’s late and I’m babbling now).
Perhaps you’re thinking that I should focus more on my positive experiences, where other teachers gave me tons of support and built up my confidence, and when I have done the same for others. I absolutely have those, and I am more than willing to concentrate on building my relationships with those people in the future. However, this evening I am simply gobsmacked by how much egotism has influenced and shaped my experience of the teaching profession.
One final thought before bed: the experience of this challenge has been one of the most positive, creative, open and ego-free of my career. I am so thrilled and inspired by the posts I am reading – I am learning so much about writing from all of you. And I am so incredibly grateful to have people read and enjoy my writing. Participating in this challenge has filled me with so much joy.