“You can’t do it.” I frequently heard that phrase when I chose to become a teacher. Not only because I was exceedingly shy, but also because I wanted to do more than teach English; I wanted to teach students how to have good lives. I wanted to teach how to persevere and overcome obstacles. […]
In his book Developing the Leaders Around You, John Maxwell notes that one characteristic of leaders is to not accept the current situation. Leaders are “in front, breaking new ground, conquering new worlds, moving away from the status quo” (40). They see what could be, rather than how life is now. I am currently taking […]
In school, I never felt like any teachers hated me. Why would they? I was quiet, withdrawn, and shy; you have to draw attention to yourself to become a problem. While I had issues, I internalized them rather than act out; the only outward sign was the tears slowly leaking out of my eyes as […]
I train in Tae Kwon Do. For years, instructors have told me to twist my shoulders when executing a back kick. For years, I’ve struggled to comply, but without much success. Then, last week, a higher black belt commented that I had missed the target because I hadn’t twisted my shoulders correctly. The twist of […]
When I first started training in Tae Kwon Do, I took a Saturday class for “all belts” – and wound up being the only white belt in a class full of black belts. I did not return to that class, as I was certain that I was holding the other students back from practicing truly […]
“You looked angry,” my mentor-instructor told me. This comment took me a bit aback. I hadn’t been mad; I had been a bit frazzled, yes, but mostly just thinking hard as I tried to keep my line focused. It had taken all of my mental facilities to know what exercises we were doing, keeping the […]
For every single instance I feel like I do well, there are many more times when I doubt that I handled the situation in the best manner. I’m a slight bit of a perfectionist (understatement of the year); I want to excel, which requires constant improvement. Improvement can only be obtained by seeing where you […]
I have been accused of being an idealist. Bushy-tailed and bright-eyed, I supposedly hold an unrealistic, overly-optimistic view of my potential impact as an educator. I can almost hear their thoughts: “Just wait until she really becomes a teacher – then she’ll see how impossible it is. No one can make a difference anymore, not […]
I read this story as a kid. I liked it okay, but it wasn’t my favorite. Imagine my surprise, then, when this story begins surfacing in my mind as an adult. Every once in awhile, I will get a visual image of the sun or the wind in their attempts to remove the man’s coat.
Whenever this story comes to mind, I’m wondering one thing: Am I the Wind or the Sun? In trying to make a difference, am I using brute force to bring about change or am I creating an environment where the person chooses to change?
I hope to be like the Sun by helping students want to change for themselves.
“This is hard!!” Eyes dropping down to the ground, the girl stopped in her tracks. We were working on a Tae Kwon Do drill that emphasized footwork, one which can be confusing the first few times a student encounters it. She stopped, refusing to budge as she had encountered some struggles in her work. “Yes, […]