I can remember being so stressed out about what I would wear in high school. In the mall, bouncing between American Eagle, Aeropostal, and Holister trying to pick out clothes that I saw my “cooler” friends wearing. However quickly in college I stopped caring and just wore clothes that I liked. It’s amazing how much we can stress ourselves out trying to be someone we’re not, when being yourself always works out in the end.
When reading “Finding My Teaching Voice” I was reminded of a time where I stressed about who I was in high school. Just as I tried emulating cool kids in high school and failed because I was slightly nerdy and awkward, Sarah Deel tried emulating her favorite professors and failed because she didn’t have the same characteristics as them.
It’s weird how not being yourself causes so much stress and awkwardness. Other people can tell you’re not being genuine too. I’ve been in classes where the professor is trying to be someone they weren’t. Telling jokes they clearly didn’t come up with and such. So why do it? Why try to be something you’re not when it makes everyone feel awkward as a result?
I never thought about it in the context of teaching, but it makes perfect sense that you need to be yourself to be comfortable, you need to be comfortable for your class to be comfortable, and your class needs to be comfortable for it to be a good learning environment.