This is a lesson that I had to learn very early in my
teaching career. It's very easy to want to have all
of your students like you, but it just isn't going to
happen. There will be personality conflicts, there
will be differences of opinion, there will be the
inability to get through to some of the students.
But that's okay. As long as I respect them and
recognize the fact that they don't have to like me to
learn the material, then things are fine.
I think the most important part of Claudette's words are
her last five words. Why knock ourselves out trying
to have something happen that isn't going to happen?
When I approach life and other people with this attitude,
it's much easier for me to be myself, instead of trying to
be someone whom I think others will like. If I don't
have to prove anything to anyone, and if I don't have to
impress anyone, I'm free to be the authentic me, and I
sincerely believe that that is one of our most important
goals while we're here on this planet.
I like it when people like me. I like it when my
students like me. But some of them won't, and that
will often be a result of their previous experiences in
life with people whom they associate with me, not
necessarily something that has to do with me
specifically. But I don't want to do things to get
people to like me--I hope to be kind and compassionate and
loving, but only because those are the qualities I want to
show, not because I want others to see those qualities and
like me as a result of them. And some people,
depending on their backgrounds, may dislike me or distrust
me because of those qualities. We'll never
hit 100%, so instead of knocking ourselves out trying to
make others like us, how about knocking ourselves out to
try to become the people we truly desire to be, and let
the likes and dislikes fall where they may?