Slice of Life: Passionate, not yet Courageous

Thanks to my colleague’s brilliance, we assigned a journal in which students choose one adjective that describes who they are right now and explain. Next, they were to choose and explain an adjective that describes who they would like to be in the future. I’ve expanded my teacher model for the purposes of this blog post. 🙂

As of this moment in my life, I would describe myself as passionate. In teaching, in relationships, in goal-setting, I am prone to set high expectations of myself and others. This can create problems, as you might imagine. However, I love this quality about myself. Being passionate pushes me to be better, to do better.

In teaching: When I first started teaching and I realized students hated reading without knowing why or giving it a try, I realized I myself had to be a reader of texts they also read. I devoured nearly 100 Young Adult texts between my first and second year of teaching because I was determined to convince 10th graders that getting lost in books is true and absolute joy.
In relationships: I am passionate about building up those I am intimately connected with. When I am not my best self, this passion can come out as jealousy, judgement, and self-promotion. However, at my best, I am eager to be your loudest cheerleader. As one enneagram account put it for us Threes, I am just as excited about your success as I am about my own! Passionate, even.
In goal setting: Similar to my commitment with reading, I finally discovered the crucial need to identify as a writer if I was going to be an effective teacher of writers. Since joining Time to Write last summer, I’ve remained passionate in cultivating writing as part of who I am. Despite the nerves of sharing and the inner critic who causes me to second guess clicking “publish” on blog posts, I am passionate about growing and connecting. (Thanks for being here!)

In the future, I would like to see myself as courageous. It’s funny because when I said this out loud in class, one of my students said, “you? Courageous? You seem like…well, you seem like you’re someone who always just goes for it.” As flattered as I am by this perception, I’m aware that my exubarance can be misconstrued with confidence and courage. However..

In teaching, I want to be the type of educator who advocates for students. Instead of engaging other adults, I just keep quiet. Even when I strongly disagree with clearly poor practices, I become paralyzed. I assuage my guilt with the knowledge that I will close my door, and I’ll do right by the superstars on my roster. And it’s an awful feeling. I want to be courageous for students, and I have to trust that I have meaningful contributions.
In relationships, I want to set and stick to my boundaries. I want to have the courage to say, “I can’t help you right now, but I’d be happy to do so after _____.” I want to have the courage to let it go. I want to have the courage to not internalize or allow others’ words to fester in my heart.
In goal setting, I want to be courageous in setting goals I’m afraid of. Despite seeking ways to grow, as a writer for example, I share goals, but not the “unrealistic” ones. What if someone scoffs? What if someone tells me I don’t have it in me? “Write a what? Girl, what do you know?” So, I keep from sharing the dream goal. But I want to be someone who voices the seemingly impossible.

How have YOU been courageous lately?

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I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life weekly challenge.

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Passionate, not yet Courageous

  1. Britt, this is a pretty incredible post! I’m kinda blown away by your ability to really take a look at yourself for who you are now and who you want to be in the future. I found myself nodding “yes” as I was reading your goal of being courageous in the future. I have a really hard time saying “no” to anything I’m asked to do, and I’ve paid a steep price for that over the years. I don’t doubt for a second that you’re going to do incredible things in the years ahead, and I’ll be able to say, “Hey, I remember back when she was just sort of awesome, and look at her now!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim, why did I just laugh SO hard at your last line?! LOL LOL. I love your encouraging comments. I appreciate you telling me of your own experience with being unable to say no – it is so incredibly difficult.

      Now I’m hoping future me doesn’t let you down! Thanks for coming alongside me as I grow 🙂

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  2. What a great exercise. It forces us to take an honest look at who we are in this moment and then to project who we want to be in the future. Giving reasons for the future self we want to be helps us set goals to reach that point.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this ‘activity.’ I am thinking of ways I can use this with my fourth graders to enhance their vocabulary. I enjoyed the way you elaborated, connecting the adjectives with different areas of your life. I’ll give it a try too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Juliette! I’m sure this would work well with 4th graders. Even with my 10th graders, I gave them a list of some adjectives with their definitions. They didn’t have to pick from the list I provided, but it was an option 🙂 Have fun with it!

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  4. This is a wonderful idea for a writing prompt. I love your thoughts about being courageous. It took me so many years to get to a point where I had that particular courage of setting boundaries for my own mental health. I am definitely going to try this exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fact that it took you years encourages me in the fact that being courageous truly is a process, and not something that can be attained over night. Thank you!!

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  5. I have a sense you are courageous. It’s more important to act courageous than feel courageous. Maybe you can ask questions when something doesn’t make sense. I did this recently. I didn’t get the response I wanted by those I questioned, but that led to another courageous act that has elicited the response I hoped for. And I’m so impressed by the number of YA novels you read in a year. WOW! I love this post, the format and content. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are speaking to my soul – I LOVE asking questions! I don’t think I really thought to do so in this context, but I should and I will. Thank you for your encouragement and compliments, as well as for reading! 🙂

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