What Does it Mean to Show Up Authentically as Learners and Leaders?


As you prepare to go back to school, are you thinking about what you want to do differently? As educators we want to prepare our classrooms so the return to school is exciting and engaging.  We want THIS year to be THE year!

When I was a teacher I struggled with the pressure of getting through lessons due to all the objectives I had to meet. This happened even when I could see my students weren't understanding the topics, nor were they engaged in learning.

At points, I had to pause, be real, and ask the students themselves, “What is going on? What can we do to have a better lesson, to better understand this?” Taking the time to address these concerns with my students created an authentic bond.

My students and I respected each other as learners and leaders and they felt empowered to share candid feedback and I shared mine.  Together, we moved forward, more engaged and with a mutual respect that we would have open conversations about learning in our classroom. We became a team.

Last month, I started a new journey as the Executive Director of Fierce in the Schools. Part of our mission at Fierce is to work with as many students as we can, to teach them the skills to have the conversations that are central to their success at school, at work, in relationships, and in life.

In our Field Guide, we have activities that have been created for educators to facilitate classroom conversations with their students.

One of our 7 Principles is: Come Out From Behind Yourself Into the Conversation and Make It Real.  What we know is that students hunger for authentic relationships- they can sniff unreal from a mile away. No matter how good your lesson or how amazing it’s content, it will rarely be experienced as relevant if the key ingredient-YOU-is missing from the equation.

As you plan for the school year, consider asking yourself -how can I build more authentic relationships in my classroom? THIS year is THE year- the year to be you and to allow your students to be them! 

Are you interested in learning more about fierce conversations in education? Click here.

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