The Last Time
When was the last time you let your guard down while teaching?
Reflect on the week, the month, or the school year. When have you taken off your “teaching mask” to be human with your students? Have you shared a mistake? Did you misspeak and needed to correct yourself in front of the class? Do you ever laugh at yourself or allow students to poke fun of you the same way you might do to them?
The Next Time
Take advantage of the next time you can let your guard down.
Let’s be clear: in the school setting, teachers and students are not friends. However, we can certainly be friendly. A clear relationship needs to exist just the same as parents/guardians and their own children. Adolescents learn and thrive with discernible parameters in their interactions with adults. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take off our “teaching mask” for a few minutes here or there. Make a mistake? Laugh at yourself. Misspeak? Practice humility. Purposeful vulnerability in the learning process can prove to strengthen your connection with students.