Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Living a Lie #EdChat

One of the things that haunts me from time to time is this feeling that someone is going to show up and tell me,

"We just realized that you do not know much of anything and your ideas are ridiculous. Anything that you might know can be Googled. Thanks and good luck."

I've talked with other teachers about this feeling. The feeling that you are just not good enough and that you are not making a difference in the life of students or other teachers. The feeling that you have orchestrated the biggest lie on everyone around you. It's feels like I'm Keyser Soze or something. (Only watch if you have seen the movie and, be warned, there is some language.)

Even though I'm surrounded by amazing teachers and admins in my new position, that doubt still sneaks in. When I have that thought, I have two options:

1. Agree with it, quit my job, and do something else.

2. Use it to drive me to improve my practice and share the doubt with others.

I always choose option 2, but I wanted to share more. I was talking with a friend of mine and she expressed exactly what I was feeling. I've been sitting on this post for a while in my draft folder and I decided it was time to write it. If my friend, who I consider one of the finest educators in the entire world, has doubts about their work, others are probably feeling the same way.

I think it is important to be open about our doubts and fears as educators. Find a close friend or mentor and share those feelings. We can all relate. If we can face these fears with friends, we can move to focusing on improving what we do. We can grow and share and support others.

If you are out there doubting your skills as a teacher and are worried that you will be exposed as a fraud, know that you are not alone. You are one of many "frauds" and "fakers" in the world that still get up every day and try to make a difference. Don't be afraid to share your fraudulent feelings with other teachers. We can make it through all of this together.


  1. Very good. The story by Neil Giaman opened it up well. http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603396711/hi-i-read-that-youve-dealt-with-with-impostor

  2. Nick-

    First off, I know you make a difference everyday so keep being awesome and doing your best!

    This is a great share, I often feel the same way. I just "teach" and do what any teacher should do. For me I have to remember that if I make a difference to just 1 students my time was worth it. I keep a box full of notes from former students, when I feel like I am a fake or I don't do anything special, I open the box up and am reminded of what I did for those individuals.

    Thanks for leading all of us "fakers" and reminding us that this insecurity is a natural feeling to most of us. I have a similar post sitting in my draft box which I have never had the courage to post.

  3. It's as if you read my mind today... I was teaching a class when I thought, "Wow, these students are so incredibly talented and smart, I bet they know more than me..." Most of the time I find that encouraging, if they are sharing their intelligence with me then I must be doing something right, but today it felt defeating. I got lucky when a colleague later mentioned that he walked by that same class and he was impressed that I had one, very smart but very difficult, student focused and clearly interested. It made my day like this post did. I think it is okay to feel mediocre sometimes, as long as that is what drives you to plan differently, learn more, and simply be better. When it doesn't drive you, I agree, seek the guidance of someone you think is better than you. Thanks for sharing this, I loved it!

  4. I've had this thought before. What brings me back to reality is, yes, the information IS indeed out there for people to find, but there is so much more to teaching than just doling out information and having student parrot it back.

    Teachers have swaths of training and knowledge. Teachers know how to facilitate discussions. Teachers design lessons tailored to different learner needs. Teachers help students learn valuable skills.

    Without the background knowledge that a person learns from a teacher, they wouldn't even be able to utilize google in the first place.

    Teachers are vital to student learning.

    -B. Medina

  5. Great concern! Well written and really imperative one.
    Keep sharing such useful information.
    Cleaning Services in Chennai

  6. This article was super helpful and on point, thank you so much.
    I’m reading all the other articles as well, you’re very insightful and encouraging. Thanks!!!
    painting contractors in Chennai


Please post your thoughts here. Thanks!