The following is a guest post I wrote for @Mrmacnology's blog, I asked him if I could also post it here.
I am not a role model, nor do I ever fool myself into thinking I am one. Of course, it would be a fabulous designation to have but when I look at my true self in the mirror, I know that I am flawed. Not flawed in a deep serious way, but in a human way. My path did not go straight to teaching but rather to ragtag jobs where I gained human experience, failed attempts, and people to celebrate it all with. And I am proud of that. These scars, bumps and bruises along my life path are what make me, well, me. If I were a role model I would never fail, never falter, always know the right course. If I were a role model, I would know which method lead to direct success rather than bumble along and discover knowledge with my students. The journey would be mapped out with no room for detours and the teaching would take care of itself.
Role models are up there with heroes. People like to proclaim teachers as everyday heroes, as role models, elite self-sacrificing angels that give up their whole lives to rescue the future of America. Yet, we are not self-sacrificing or perhaps even heroes and I think that is a good thing. We are every day people trying our hardest to reach every kid and to more importantly make every kid believe in themselves. If we were heroes or angels, no one could attain to reach our status, no one could want to be like us because we would be too perfect.
So perhaps we are role models in a bruised and battered kind of way. We are role models for the believers, for the thinkers, for the can doers. We are role models for the kids that we embrace, the kids that we cheer on, the kids that we believe in. We are role models for ourselves. But we are not heroes, just ordinary people and that is how I want to stay.