Teaching from the Inside Out

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Valerie Lewis is an EDUPRENEUR, technology fanatic, a forever learner, and a DISRUPTOR of normalcy within education!  Connect with her on Twitter at @iamvlewis.

We all have that ” ITch” from within that drives us, makes us, consumes us, tickles us and incessantly strums louder than our heartbeat could ever drum. This abstract thing we can’t put our hand on pushes us beyond our usual self and in some cases causes us to step aside, around and outside of our normal selves. Each day is a given chance to challenge ourselves to be greater than the day before. When I rise in the morning and before going to bed at night I look in the mirror (or in reality lay in bed while gazing at the TV ) I want to be able to say to myself “Self…YOU did that!”

The power of ME is one that can’t be contended. This power is unmatched BUT infectious. It’s OH so lethal that it causes those that long to be unbothered, apathetic, and indifferent to take notice.  Pardon me a moment for those that want to call it arrogance but let me rub my CONFIDENCE in your face just a little bit more. I’m not talking about taking a glance at the physical ME. NO NO! I want the ME that forces an inspection into the depths of themselves because they have been so long buried under layers of skin, bones, organs, muscles, tissue and STUFF.

EMOTIONAL STUFF, EGOTISTICAL & HAUGHTY STUFF, HATEFUL & SPITEFUL STUFF, COWARDLY and SILENCED STUFF, INHIBITED & INSECURE STUFF, and STUFF STUFFthat just can’t be easily erased away STUFF!

This type of contagion can be the breaking and changing point within a mere soul that will eventually connect to many other lives. I intentionally and purposefully teach fom the inside out because my kids need to know that I am human, real and relatable. Though stern and strict at times they must always know that I have their best interest at the heart of every moment we share together in our learning space. The goals I set for myself are good for me but I also need to help them blaze their own trails toSUCCESS and HAPPINESS.

I once had a student say to me “Mrs. Lewis…you are always doing the most and act like we’re going to change the world.” Though it pierced me a bit to think that he was doubting his own ability (and that of his peers) to do just that; I quickly recovered and realized he was surely being infected with the venom of my PASSION. He recognized he was getting the ITch and in many ways wanted to deny or reject the process or metamorphosis. He was battling with the idea that he actually may want to try to change the world and be successful at it. There would surely be an OUT-BREAK!  This would be a shedding of normalcy and a true TRANSFORMATION in thinking for all of us.

Despite the fact that we change clothes, hairdos and outwardly things; our inner beings should dominate and shine through all the layers of STUFF! What a great day it will always be when we  facilitate and assist our students to discover the GOOD & GREAT longing to be unveiled from within. Let’s continue to plant and water the learning seed simply by teaching from the inside out.

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