There's Just One Thing to Do
We wrapped up new teacher orientation yesterday at school. There’s a large group of teachers who are new to the school and a few teachers who are new to teaching completely. We all come to the job with our unique backgrounds, our present life circumstances, and our hopes, fears, and insecurities about the future. Somehow, hopefully, we align ourselves with the school mission and ethos and we get the job done.
Not every school does this well. Some schools have highly qualified teachers but no clear and unifying cohesion. Perhaps the school’s mission or ethos isn’t present, isn’t clear, or is simply ignored.
We wrapped up our day yesterday with a final Q&A. “Where’s that room?” “What do I do if…?” “What can I expect from…?”
And it became so crystal clear to me why I’m on this mission to bring to teachers and students transformational self-understanding: when we’re present and engaged with the people we’re with, and when we’re speaking, listening, and acting from relaxed well-being, we’re getting the job done as well as we possibly can.
When we’re coming from relaxed well-being, we’re better able to live from our authentic self and integrity as educators.
Our authentic self, what Parker Palmer calls our identity as an educator, is the source of our honest self-expression, interest, passion, commitment, enjoyment, and insight. It’s that part of us that gets activated in class and we become fully alive and in the zone as educators.
Our integrity is our honest, reflective, trustworthy, and present awareness and action. Integrity means authentically engaging with our whole experience, not just our thinking. Integrity also means honoring and respecting the sacredness of the life within ourselves and each other, as well as the word we’ve given ourselves and others. (3 Steps to Living with Integrity.)
This post is about teachers, but the message is true for all of us: Living with integrity from our authentic self is all we ever need to do. It’s our access to living in the zone, it feels good, and it gets the job done well.
The questions for many of us, though, are What is our authentic self?, How do we access it?, and How do we live with integrity?
Read on through this blog, since that’s what I’m usually writing about, and it’s also the focus of my workshops and coaching.
In the meantime, relax those lovely muscles of yours, bring attention to your breathing and the life within and around you, and foster trust that you’ve got everything you need right now.
There’s no figuring things out when it comes to our authentic self. It’s already there - just quiet the distractions enough to let it come through. And when it comes to integrity, there’s no need to push, but don’t hold back from acting and expressing yourself fully, compassionately, and honestly.
Thanks for reading. ❤️