For several years now, I’ve been noticing many more social/emotional concerns with my students, particularly with anxiety. Additionally, last year my students took on heavy topics for our social awareness inquiry: depression, self-harm, making wrong choices, anxiety, and more. To be honest, I was initially uncomfortable with the topics, but I trusted them as young scholars. They taught me, and our school community, so much about the topics and, more importantly, solutions.
As simple as the phrase sounds, I teach my students to #JustBeYou. As a Christian woman, I know that each of us is wonderfully made. Although I don’t speak of Christ, I do express to my students that each one of us is special and unique. Maybe you’re shy and quiet, maybe quirky and creative, maybe athletic and active, or even nerdy and nice. Whoever you are, just be you. Be true to who you are at your core.
The phrase didn’t come to me overnight. You see, many years ago, when I was a young teacher, a comment was made to me that was paralyzing. In the copy room one day a fellow teacher told me: “Not everyone can be happy like you all the time.” Whoa! I don’t remember my response but I do know that I changed. For the next six months I was “professional Marilyn”. I controlled my laughter, my smiling, and my encouraging nature. Then one day, a different teacher asked me what was wrong with me. I shared the story. She scolded me on the spot. She basically told me to “Just Be You”. I am so glad she had that conversation with me. From that day on, I knew that to be happy, I had to be my authentic self.
I’m so excited to share that I found a graphic designer, through Fiverr, that designed a sticker for me. He literally made my concept come to life. Thank you, Milanga!!!
As we start the 2019-2020 school, I would love for this message to get out to our students. If you would like a sticker or magnet, please DM me your address. The simple message of “Just Be You” is a powerful talking point that students really do latch on to.
With a tender heart,