The Good, The Bad and the Sick of the BS

I am:

a) a teacher – unable to motivate, inspire, or educate students

b) a teacher – committed to high expectations for academic achievement and behavior for all students

c) a teacher – exhausted by all the external bs at work

Depending on who you ask this week, I’m either choice a or choice b.

I’ve heard both messages loud and clear.

Both blasted and lauded in the same week.

The real answer of course, is c.

Needless to say I’ve felt really high and really low this week depending on which opinion of me was being thrown around at the time.

And you know what?

I’m tired of it.

Every year I set a goal, make a resolution or to use yoga-talk, set an intention for the year. Something to keep myself focused on throughout the year.

 This year’s intention was to be more flexible, to find some space in areas I had previously held on tightly to – like homework coming back unfinished (thus causing much suffering) – and to listen more.

Next year’s resolution?

To not believe the hype about me: good or bad.

I’ve read that some musicians, artists and actors refuse to read reviews about their work because it interferes with their creativity and performance. Other people’s  opinions about them (it always comes down to people judging you as a person rather than your work) got in the way of the joy in their work.

Let’s be real, some also are honest enough to admit that criticism (which is so rarely constructive especially in print) just plain hurts their feelings.

I feel the same way.

I would like to not get attached to the compliments or to get caught up in the negativity.

It’s not to say that I’m going to shut people out and not listen to how to refine practices, I’m going to try to feel less defined as a professional by other people’s opinions.

I’m not exactly sure how I’ll make this happen.

I think having this intention is good place to start.

So dear readers, how do you keep other people’s compliments and criticisms in perspective? Any tips for dealing with the critics? And fans?

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16 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad and the Sick of the BS

  1. Tami,

    Your comments make me think of a line in the book “Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan.

    All my good intentions….

    I think that is how we start every year. I know what my good intentions are, I just don’t seem to have the right magic potion to make my good intentions work on every one.

    That is what I will be pondering this summer.

    Monica

  2. First off, congrats on being *almost* done with the school year, which seemed greatly impacted by your stated intention last fall. I don’t know how much you notice, but I see pretty clearly how much more peace and calm you’ve had this year overall.

    Second, can I join you in next year’s intention? It’s such an important one. The Buddha comes to mind when I think of this, and that helps me be more even on both sides. The middle way, baby.

    • @blogasana – thank you. i’ve *totally* felt more peaceful and calm this school year and i intend to continue this year’s intention into next.

      i’d LOVE it if you can join in the let-it-go intention. the middle way, indeed.

  3. Marie that sounds like a book worth reading.

    My comment was somewhat along that line, if you Know you are doing good work – lets the pettiness roll off your shoulders.

    Sure it might stop you in your tracks momentarily but then shrug it off and proceed with what you know is right.

  4. On those distracting comments-
    If it’s an administrator we share, consider the source.
    If it’s the state of California, consider the measure.
    If it’s parents, consider why they would never, ever in a million years home school their own children.
    If it’s yourself, consider a nap.
    If it’s anyone else, consider your past job and remember how much you prefer making kids capable of doing that than actually doing it yourself.

    On the last day of school, if the kids feel proud of themselves, then you can too!

  5. I find it so difficult to “not take things personally.” Sometimes I’m not sure how else to take them! I try to remind myself that everyone makes mistakes, and moreover, that it is unhealthy to model perfection — it will teach my kids that mistakes are unacceptable!

    Yoga is definitely part of the answer. I know it centers you, too. I try to allow myself to feel the feelings and then move on!

  6. Hi Tami!

    There’s a great book written by Miguel Ruiz named “The Four Agreements” that addresses this very thing. His philosophy in a nutshell: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best. You start by purging negativity (and negative people) from your life.

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/ISBNInquiry.asp?EAN=9781878424310&pwb=1&&pvsrc=1

    I’ve read this book several times and it’s helped me reset my balance each time.

    And as always, deep breaths…and a little alcohol with friends helps. :)

  7. Oh, how frustrating. I feel for you. First of all, anyone who criticizes you is doing so based on assumptions, numbers, or other things that are not true to what you are doing on a daily basis. When I am evaluated at work, I try to choose one criticism that I think may need improvement and work on that one. Then I try to focus on the positive because teaching is a hard job and just being able to do it day in and day out is something to be congratulated for. Good luck and keep your head held high. The rapport you have with your students and the support you give them are the real measure of your success. :-)

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