“I’m not that scary.”

Every so often, I’ll have a student claim that they missed a class because they knew they’d be late and were “too scared” to show up after the bell. Or better yet, that they didn’t hand in a project because they were “afraid” to ask for help. Any situation of similar excuses gets the same reaction from me: a wrinkled brow, a cocked head, and the statement that “I’m not that scary.”

Sometimes I wish that I was that scary. Maybe my classes wouldn’t be quite as rambunctious on Friday afternoons if I was an intimidating presence but, er, I’m not. I have yet to have a student stick to their story that they were actually afraid of me (because, let’s face it, many of my students outsize me by grade 9), but we do often end up in a discussion, usually leading to the actual reason for the missed class/assignment/what have you.

I like having these discussions. They help me learn what others are thinking, as well as how they’re perceiving my words and/or actions. They give me an opportunity to elaborate, clarify, or simply reflect on my own views. Sometimes, I don’t like what I hear (who wants to be told that somebody hates the subject that they teach, or the assignment that they’ve painstakingly created?), but the feedback is helpful. It gives me insight into differing opinions and lets me consider how to approach things in the future.

Similarly, I’d like to tell my blog readers the same thing: I’m not that scary. I was fortunate enough to have a number of people share the link to my Generation Y response, and was able to read some feedback on those Facebook shares – but there were no comments on the post itself. I’d like to encourage you to leave your thoughts, if you feel compelled to do so. Want to tell your friend that you agree or disagree with what they shared? Tell me too! I would love to engage in friendly debate, or let my thoughts feed on yours.