Today’s prompt was: When are you choosing to put on a show? When do you feel like you must put on a show? Do you enjoy this part of interacting with people?
Like I said in yesterday’s post, I don’t put masks on or play at being something I’m not most of the time. But if I could choose anytime where I’ve ‘put on a show’ it would be teaching. When you teach, you tend to have a ‘teacher persona’ and depending on how close that persona matches who you actually are, determines how much work it is to keep it up.
When I taught junior high, I felt like I had to pretend to be mature, the adult in the room. My teacher persona was a lot less fun than who I actually am. I think the students could see through it or had trouble connecting with me sometimes because of it. One of my colleagues told me I needed to let them see more of who I am, as that is what they were dying to see. Students forget that you have a life outside the classroom, that you are a real person sometimes. Sometimes, they put you up on this pedestal because you are their role model and for me that made me feel like I needed to be perfect. In short, I found teaching junior high exhausting. I love the age group, but because I hadn’t found a way to be myself around them it was utterly exhausting to play that role.
Now I feel like my teacher persona is the closest to my actual personality. I’ll admit, this took time and didn’t happen overnight. But teaching in jail, I feel like my students needed me to be more real with them, more human. At first, I think they found it really hard to relate to me. As I shared things I’ve struggled with in my own life, they were better able to connect with me. Now that I have taught there for 3 years, I know the culture, the language and I know that they’d spot a fake from a mile away.
Do I like playing a role? Not usually. Not unless I’m playing a character in a RPG game. I mostly find it exhausting so I don’t do it.
Meditation:Deep Relaxation Meditation