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Be You

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.

~ Judy Garland

Today is my first day of the new school year. I like this first day. I like starting the school year by being in the same room as all of the educators in my district. I like that I know most of them because of the nature of my position. I’ve been thinking about them this weekend. I work with kindergarten teachers and high school teachers. Special education teachers and AP teachers. Rookie teachers and those near the end of their careers. What strikes me is how different we all are and how these differences work together for the greater good.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. We walk around the school and peek in classrooms, notice bulletin boards, and wish we could be more like someone else. We second guess our choices and wonder if we can reach students as well as another person. This school year, my hope is we can each appreciate ourselves not just for what we can do, but for our imperfections as well. I hope we realize our strength is being part of a group of educators. It is through sharing and challenging and working together that we all reach our greatest potential. The very best thing we can do is be ourselves.

Will you join me in starting the school year with the goal of simply being yourself?



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

10 thoughts on “Be You Leave a comment

  1. I hope your day was wonderful! The start of a new school year is always so exciting…the blank slate. And though it is good to be ourselves, it is still good to take a peek at others and see what we can steal! As long as it can become a part of you, and you feel comfortable “wearing” it, it’s fine. But you are right, be comfortable and accept yourself for what you have to offer, including the imperfections. There are little imperfect people watching you, and they love you, and want to know you are human. If you can be happy being imperfect, they know they are okay, too!


  2. Thanks Ruth, After almost 30 years I still feel sometimes like I’m not a good enough teacher. I love my job and feel so blessed to be able to hang with kids all day. I also feel so grateful for being able to learn from the strengths other teachers possess. Thanks for the reminder that we all mostly compliment each other–especially when we are being ourselves!


  3. This is such a lovely thought to hold at the start of the school year. It reminds me of something that a teacher friend of mine always says, “Each of us (teachers) has his/her strengths, and that’s why it’s so perfect that our students move from one to the next during their journey through school.” We all contribute to the whole.


  4. Yourself is the only way to be. I learned the hard way, and sometimes it isn’t easy or popular, but in the long run, it works for everyone!!! Glad you’re feeling good today inspite of its newness and unpredictability–that’s what makes life worth living!!! Go, Girl, as you usually do!!!!!


  5. What a wonderful message to start the day with. I tend to be a perfectionist so not comparing is difficult for me. Be yourself, the perfect foundation to start my year. Thank you for always giving me something to ponder. I hope that you had a wonderful first day.


  6. I love this. Wish I had read it earlier in my career. Spent a lot of time trying to become the teachers I admired most instead of just being the next me. Thanks for writing this piece.


  7. Ruth,
    I like the notion that our strength is being part of a group of educators. That statement alone should remind us of the importance of collaboration and teamwork. By embracing both, we can be ourselves more easily, and confidently bring our individual strengths together for a common goal-our students.


  8. Ruth, thank you for the good thoughts! It is hard not to look at others and compare. I hope you have a great day. I imagine that all you do with your teachers will help them be themselves in special ways.


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