Back to school is the perfect time to browse the teacher blogs and Pinterest posts to get new ideas for this fall. At the same time, it can be a little disheartening. All the blogs make it look so easy to decorate your room like a scene from a children’s book and create DIY everything for your classroom while doing it all wearing a cute pair of high heels and a pretty dress. Yet, anyone who teaches knows very well that this is not real life (or at least not for most teachers).
While we know that a lot of what you see on social media is a perception, not reality, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an affect on viewers. Unrealistic images of “the perfect teacher” can easily make you feel like you aren’t good enough or you’re failing in some way if this isn’t how your classroom or you look. You may question yourself at times. It’s normal, but it’s important to acknowledge that the internet is only half the story of the reality of teaching.
The reality of teaching is there are really good days and really rough days. Yet as we know, no one posts the picture of their classroom after a students throws a fit and throws papers all over, or of a teacher who is exhausted from working 10 hour days and trying to survive their last lesson of the day. Everyone wants to share their great moments online, and that’s awesome, but remember not to compare yourself to everyone’s best moments.
As you start back at work this year, don’t feel like lesser of a teacher if you aren’t a crafting wizard fit for Pinterest or if you can’t rock that dress and high heels like Jesse from New Girls. Being a great teacher is more than a perception online; it’s about the work you do daily even when things aren’t picture perfect. So turn off the social media, embrace your own teacher style this year, and stop comparing yourself to others this year.