Design Your Identity

In the classroom, our identity is what guides us and is what makes our difference. For Pixar, the making of Toy Story helped them discover the importance of forging an identity.

Everyone knows Pixar to be an animation company that churns out hit after hit. Audiences love Pixar movies for their brilliant computer animation and heartfelt stories. It may be easy to think that doing what they do is easy. It may be easy to think that they were an overnight success. The truth is that the creators of Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Cars, and Finding Nemo, had to go through some growing pains along the way. They had to find out what made them...them. They had to discover their identity. This is a journey that every teacher must take as well. This is The Elephant in the Classroom.

Class Notes:

1.) New teachers can become disillusioned when success doesn't come right away. This disconnect between their fantasy and reality leads to anxiety, dread and burnout.

2.) Teachers then look at successful teachers, read teaching blogs, follow IG teachers and try to copy them. "If they can do it, I can do it."

3.) That is a good strategy. After all, teaching is a beg, borrow and steal business. BUT that only works if...

4.) You remember what makes YOU successful as a person. What are your passions? What are your talents? What is the good that you want to make in the world?

5.) Your identity must fuel the direction you take in your classroom. Your identity guides you to your style, strategies and what to steal from others.

6.) We often think that working hard leads to our inspiration. But in fact it is the inspiration that empowers our hard work to be impactful.