Monday, January 6, 2020

Is There Such Thing as a "Wrong Vehicle"?

I was asked by a fellow educator who is both looking for a new job and a new vehicle, "Is there such thing as the wrong vehicle?", meaning is there a vehicle he should not buy that may give off the wrong opinion when he interviews for a job.

When I first started my education career I will admit that I cared about the impression I put out to the public. I wore a shirt and tie every sing school day for the first year. I took out my earrings and never wore them again. I kept my car clean, and my desk. I did all these things that had absolutely now barring on how I taught in the classroom. A shirt and tie may look good but it did not make me a good teacher. 

Soon I began to realize that the connections I made with students and the quality of the lesson I gave them was far more important than trying to "look the part" to the public. I began participating in school spirit dress-up days, joining in on casual Fridays, and even riding my motorcycle. These actions did far more in building positive relationships and improving the culture and climate of my classroom than a shirt and tie ever did.

So regardless of what vehicle you drive, if a school leader is going to judge you during a job interview for what you drive then that is school culture you do not want to be a part of. 

Use the fact that drive a big truck to carry your scuba equipment as a way to connect with students whom you might not normally visit with. Or use your motorcycle as a way to connect with the gear heads who want to know what you ride and why chose that model. Let your uniqueness be you and let it foster connections with students who need to know it is okay to be themselves. So drive a beat-up '85 Honda Civic or a brand new Toyota Tundra, walk or ride a bike. It doesn't matter nearly as much as being there for your students.

Any administrator who is hiring a new teacher should only concerned that a teacher has a vehicle that can safely get them to the school to teach kids.

So be yourself, truly, wholeheartedly, and unapologetically, no matter you drive. As long as you are driving students towards being the best versions of themselves possible then you are alight in my book.

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