Don't Be Afraid to Shine!
I think we all know at least one Shiny Smoosher at our school. Do you know what I am talking about? Shiny Smooshers are most prevalent in the educational setting and found most often in female dominated professions. I fear you may be working with some of these individuals now. Take my short quiz to see if you are guilty of association, before I determine how you can deal with the situation.
Shiny Smoosher: [shahy-nee smoosh-er] noun.
1. A teacher that temporarily feels better about themselves when they bring others down: "The Shiny Smoosher told the teacher that her teaching success was a result of not having any children."
2. A teacher that has forgotten how important it is to lift others up: "The Shiny Smoosher walked right by another teacher without saying hello."
Origin: Perhaps a bad childhood experience
Symptoms of a Shiny Smoosher
Do you know any teacher peers that:
____ seem to have the "worst" class every year?
____ correct you when you speak?
____ will take your ideas, but won't share any with you?
____ won't say hello to you in the hallway?
____ try to make you feel left out...on purpose?
____ don't follow directions, but will be the first to call you out if you don't?
____ have never congratulated you, even if a large award or grant was earned
If you checked more than two of the above symptoms, you may be working too closely with a Shiny Smoosher.
Don't Be Afraid To Shine!
First, let me say that I carefully wrote about a simple case of a Shiny Smoosher at my school. Then I erased it all. It doesn't matter. I don't have to paint these individuals out to you. We painfully know who they are. And really, when you boil it down, you are going to encounter mean people wherever you go in life. The important thing is that you rise above it and accept who you are.
With a close-encounter of a Shiny Smoosher, I thought of this quote used in the movie "Coach Carter".
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Maryanne Williamson
With this in mind, I think these are important concepts to think about:
Don't be afraid to stand out from the crowd
Don't be afraid to shine
Live big. You only have one life.
Don't blame others. I like saying, "If it is to be, it is up to me."
Encourage others around you. They'll only appreciate you more.
Congratulate teachers when you they have tried something new. We don't hear it enough.
Know that you can always improve. Be a student for life.
Don't be afraid of yourself
Don't give up
And perhaps the most important thing to think about is why we are here. We are in this profession to help others. We are here for the children. That is why we teach.
Which reminds me to tell you again how much I appreciate all the emails of support. To date, I can safely say I have answered hundreds of emails from teachers around the United States and world. Thank you for helping me shine!
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