“If he can find his authentic swing” Bagger Vance says to Hardy Greaves in the excellent film “Legend of Bagger Vance”. He’s talking about whether or not the main character, played by Matt Damon can rise up to his former greatness after a great set back. A must watch, but what does that have to do with being a wellness teacher? I hit the ground running in 1980, fresh out of (then) Plymouth State College.
You might remember the heady feeling of getting your first job, not having a clue in the world how to handle it either! If I could give any advice to the teacher I was then, it would be: always be authentic with your students, coupled with a great sense of empathy. Do not be afraid to do this. The kids will learn more from a teacher they believe cares more than they know. And if you play your cards right you will get the necessary content in along the way.
You see, in our profession, especially in discipline, we have this unique chance to help kids be the best they can in mind, body, and spirit. The new emphasis on implementing SBHE has been the last challenge of my final years as a teacher and I am just like Matt Damon’s character. Not the same as I was in 1980 but I have not lost that ‘authentic swing’ that took a while to develop. The fun part is, you never get it done I don’t care how long you’ve been teaching or how old you are.
Regardless of where you are in your career know that you are doing great things. And when the difficulties arise, and I can assure you, they will, being authentic should always be your default. I felt very frustrated as I worked to re-vamp a curriculum that was heavily laden with content. At one point I had to realize that even in its current state, there were some good things in it. It’s in the pruning that you see the growth so letting go of some things had to be done and I’m finding it’s ok!
This post was supposed to be about how I made the transition to a skills based curriculum. In reality, I was doing it ‘all along’ but needed to bring it more to the forefront. I had to give myself a break and not be so hard on myself. I sat back, and remembered that eager 21 year old’s exuberance to make a difference in a student’s life. I want to thank all of the sharing of resources; they have made a huge difference in my classroom.
I was told in 1980 to ‘be my best self’ and ‘never be afraid to grow’. I am grateful I never lost sight of this. I plan to retire in 2 years. I am feeling very good about how the end is going to be; much like the beginning, REAL. I have discovered lessons learned along the journey have been more important than the actual destination.
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