I’ve been blessed enough to have relief teaching work almost every day at the moment. This means that I am making myself more known in the schools I’m at. I’m fitting their system and connecting with the staff and students. I’m shaping myself into the type of teacher they may want to hire for full-time employment in the near future. In my spare time I’ve also started designing teaching resources for other teachers around the world to access. I am absolutely loving this pastime and learning from others who have been doing the same thing for longer than I have. In addition, I’ve been reading more blogs and connecting with more teacher-bloggers to gain more motivation and inspiration for my own writing. All of this has been very exciting, but there’s one problem. After a while, it becomes harder to define and distinguish yourself from all of the others. When becoming ‘one of the staff’ in a school, it’s hard to remember who you were when you started. When turning to other designers and bloggers to inspire your works, it becomes harder to make sure your products remain true to your own style. And how much should you stay ‘true to yourself’ when those who are successful seem to have many similarities? These are the thoughts that have been on my mind.
Having said this I believe that I know what the answer is, it’s just easier said than done. I believe that we should learn from others. That taking hints and tips from other teachers is a wise thing for me to be doing. I should continue to refine my teaching skills as well as my designing and writing, and keeping myself aware of what others in the field are doing is a great way to achieve this. My mother used to say that ‘the best writers are those who read often’ and it’s the same in anything. The best teachers are those who learn often. However, I also know that there are certain characteristics and talents that I bring to my teaching that are unique to me. I have my own style and tastes and these things should not become blurred amongst it all. Besides, you never know how much onlookers will appreciate your points of difference. So at the end of the day, I believe there’s a fine balance between shaping yourself into being successful and remaining true to the beginner in you. Some compromise is necessary, but let’s not forget that we all have something unique to bring to the job.