When I learned that I would need to not only start, but also maintain a blog for my grad class, a myriad of thoughts ran through my mind. The first (well maybe not the first, but definitely the loudest) thought was, "What are people going to think?" I know. It sounds crazy that a person who spends 8 hours a day teaching others how to write would be fearful to let strangers read and comment on my thoughts towards something so near and dear to my soul: education.
I spend a bit of time every day reading blogs, looking at magazines, and following articles that talk about the ever-changing landscape in the world of education. Every new idea and lesson plan excites me, and I immediately dream about ways to implement them in my classroom. But I don't often broadcast my plans because I become afraid of failure. If no one knows what I hope to do, then there is no risk of disappointing them if that goal is not reached. After much soul-searching, I think I have realized that it comes down to the fear of being labeled.
A friend from high school, Lance Salyers, recently had the opportunity and honor of being one of the speakers involved in TEDx Dayton. Lance is actually the person that finally put into words for me what I had been feeling. I feared the labels that others could possibly give to me, and even more so the labels that I give myself. I have many labels that I think accurately apply to me: I am a Christian, wife, mom, teacher, photographer, and friend. I also have other labels that I am not nearly as proud of: I am insecure, opinionated, and a perfectionist. But these labels are not just helping me describe myself; they are actually also hindering me from sharing my ideas and dreams with others for fear of what they will think. But Salyers' talk opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about those sticky labels.
While I may not be an expert in the field of education, I AM educated. I do have some authority to speak on issues that can better myself and those around me. I hope this new adventure provides me the ability to share who I am without that label. Because as Salyers so eloquently worded it, "Labeling ourselves short-circuits our ability to interface with others".