Saturday, May 25, 2013

day 25: truth with love


Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget
 (good or bad).

      During my first full-time semester in library sciences, I took a storytelling class. One day we were assigned to tell an Aesop's fable. I am usually not animated at all in front of an audience -- my goal when speaking in front of adults is composure, not to be amusing -- but I made some small gesture during the telling of my story that the teacher, Nyla, noticed. Nyla said something like, "I can tell you are a really private person, but that gesture gave your listeners an idea of how you feel about the fable's characters." 
      This may not sound like anything special, but it was the way she said it. There was no hint of judgment or negativity - just acceptance and affection. If you are like me and usually very reserved, you've probably heard so many times, "You're so quiet!" or "You don't talk much, do you?" all said in
tones ranging from well-meaning puzzlement to outright dismissal. Our culture seems to value outspoken, outgoing people. Don't get me wrong - I love outgoing people, too (they tend to make fun friends for folks like me). But I've gotten tired of many people assuming that my private nature and quietness are character flaws that need overcoming vs. just something to accept, and maybe even appreciate. 
       This event stands out for me as a teacher, because it reminds me of the importance of truly accepting every student I work with while encouraging them to grow. It's a tough balance to strike, but Nyla showed it was possible.
 

10 comments:

  1. She shounds like a good teacher Blog Every Day in May

    ReplyDelete
  2. Honestly, I am outspoken with people I am comfortable with and quiet as can be when I'm out of my element. So I can understand both worlds!

    ReplyDelete
  3. In group environments I'm super quiet, and I used to get a lot of "you're so shy" comments. I love the lesson you got out of this, I think as teacher it is so important to recognise and celebrate the differences in your students!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm a quiet and reserved person, too. I love what you said about people sometimes viewing that as something that needs overcoming. Well said! Oh, and yay for a fellow teacher!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Like you, I'm shy, so I grasp your anecdote. I try to make my quietness work for me: people pay attention to my slightest gesture and give it more significance than the grander acts of loudmouths.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good point, Ally. I've noticed that, too - I think people listen a little more carefully. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you, Megan! I've always wondered what it would have been like to grow up in a culture that didn't view quietness as a shortcoming. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you, Decoybetty. I think that's one of my biggest challenges as a teacher - developing a basic understanding and appreciation of so many different personalities! It's really a lesson in learning to not judge people but to accept how they are at this time in their life while maintaining high expectations and helping them figure out how to fulfill those expectations. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think a lot of us hold back until we can gather some clues about how we might be perceived and received! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Sandy. She is an amazing teacher. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love comments, so please leave one if you like. :)