My energy level and my passion for teaching, ELA, pedagogy and life impact others in several ways. This year several things have happened to heighten my awareness of how what I do and say impacts others, and as a result, I have begun to see myself in a new way–through the eyes of others.
Here are a few of the things I’ve heard:
1. Behavior interventionist (with the task of observing a student–not me) said, “I have never seen a teacher with this much energy. To the students, he said, “Wow, she talks fast, you really have to pay attention.” He went on to tell me later that the energy was a good thing and that sometimes he’s bored when he visits classrooms, but he was not at all bored in my class.
2. A friend after listening to my group HeyTell voicemail one morning said, “Maya, it would be exhausting to be you.”
3. Coworker said, “Maya, you really help me find my Zen.”
Thinking to myself that I had never heard anything like that and how amazing it was that I helped someone find her inner peace I responded, “Really?”
She went on to tell me how she usually felt hectic and frazzled and like a spaz, but when around me she felt so calm. She went on to say how being around me was like being around her boys.
“Wait! You have toddler boys. Being around me is like being around not just one but two toddlers.”
She laughed and told me how much she admired my energy level and that she wished he had the energy I have.
4. Another friend told me upon hearing the above story that I’m a good kind of exhausting and that’s what she loves about me.
5. My boss told me that by the time I get to item 2 or 3 I’ve lost him. I think that might be related to my energy, the way my mind runs, and the way my conversation flows.
6. Another coworker told me that he misses me if he doesn’t have lunch with me because he likes to listen to me and that the conversation is dull if I’m not there. He also has compared me to Dory from Finding Nemo.
I could blame this on my energy, blame this on my passion, blame this on a lot of things, or I could just think about when the time is right to just be me and when the time is right to slow down and listen and let things sink in as opposed to when the time is right to do as Dory says, “Just keep swimming.”
This high energy person–I feel like this is my schtick in the classroom; this is partially what makes the person I am “work” as a teacher. This is what helps me engage squirrelly sixth graders. At the same time, this is what sometimes makes adults shake their heads or tune me out.
I will always be this high energy person, but I realize now that sometimes I need to take a step back, slow down, shut up, and gain perspective through listening to others and/or filtering/thinking through my words.