I have been used to being small my whole life. For a good chunk of my 25 years, I was self-conscious about it: always having to look up to people who towered over me or dodging people in high school so I wouldn’t get run over.
Smallness made me cute and that’s what I became. People treated me endearingly, which I didn’t mind. But soon enough, even my students — many who also towered over me — would call me cute, as well.
The point being : I wasn’t taken seriously. At all.
When raising my voice or trying to call attention to the class — I failed.
My students saw me as the “nice” teacher, but not the teacher who meant “business” my first year. I was a joke of a teacher, and that’s what I had become that year.
During the summer, I dedicated my time to grow as an educator. I did not want to repeat the same errors I made my first year. I learned that if I were to conduct business within the classroom , I had to nurture three characteristics within myself:
When I entered my second year, I was still on total survival mode (2017). I knew that before I could foster an autonomous, interactive, and creative classroom, I had to nail down those three traits listed above.
Boy, was it hard.
I had lived most of my life without expectations. I came from a very loving family but of which lacked structure. On top of that, I couldn’t even remember a time I was ever consistent.
With that being said, I thought that my “smallness” both mentally and physically put me at a disadvantage. I was used to my small body, small thoughts, and small dreams.The negativity of my own mind and criticism made me think of leaving the teaching profession altogether.
When summer came along, I dedicated that time for deep reflection. I didn’t want to be a quitter. At the same time, I realized one thing:
I needed to change my mindset.
I needed to start thinking like a manager… to think like a businessperson (for the lack of a better word). The question was how?
In this journey to discover the answer, I decided that there was only one way to find out…
This is where the story begins. Please join me in this journey to find success: starting small.