Pat PInterest Does Not Exist
Pat posts a plethora of pictures of the classroom. Pat poses pictures of conferences. Pat poses in pictures with presenters. Pat posts and posts and posts pictures.
Pat posts ideas. Pat posts other people’s ideas that look amazing when Pat talks about them. Pat posts about students. Pat posts that students are perfect! They love Pat, they love Pat’s room, they love Pat’s curriculum and they all score well on Pat’s assessments. Pat’s students perform perfectly and create perfect projects. Pat is really hard to live up to. Even parents love Pat.
Of course, so does Pat’s prinicipal. Pat’s principal does put Pat down. Pat’s principal pays for conferences so that Pat can pose for pictures there and post them on Pat’s page.
Pat’s entire existence make us feel incompetent. But the truth is that….
Pat PInterest does not exist. On Pinterest, or Twitter, or Instagram or Facebook or on TPT or even on Pat Pinterest’s Perfect Blog. Pat Pinterest is a figment of our imagination. Pat Pinterest has been created by the society in which we live and fed by our own insecurities. But Pat isn’t real. There is no Pat.
So let Pat go. If you see someone who appears to be Pat, remind yourself that Pat, nor anyone like Pat actually exists. Every teacher has struggles. Every teacher has students who challenge them. Every teacher has a colleague who treats them poorly. Every teacher has a curriculum that won’t work for every student. Every teacher has some parent enemies. Every teacher has at least one administrator who doesn’t “get it” from time to time. Every teacher has students who refuse. Every teacher has days when the lesson plan doesn’t work, weeks where the lesson plans feel like they came from the Wing It File.
If someone really appears Pat-like, know that somewhere there is a trade-off. Pat Pinterest, the perfect teacher, CAN NOT EXIST. And no one can expect to be like Pat for just that reason.
So don’t let Pat Pinterest take up residence in your head. Don’t let yourself see Pat in posts on social media. Pat’s Plethor of Perfect Pictures? They are all posed. Yes, Pat poses her pictures then posts them so that we suppose that Pat’s world actually exists. But there is no Pat Pinterest….no matter how many people are following Pat. Pat is a poser.
We don’t need to be Pat.
We don’t need to be like Pat.
We don’t even need to want to be like Pat in order to be good enough.
If you care, and you are trying, you are already good enough.
Forget about being like Pat.
Revel in your occasionally messy room because students feel comfortable there.
Celebrate the lesson that went off-script because you and the students got excited about something else.
Honor the people who help you through the hard days of teaching and don’t worry if you have never met a “guru.” (who also don’t exist by the way.)
Embrace the fact that not all of your students achieve all of the time. They help to remember that it isn’t about us.
Recognize the days that you feel too tired, too dizzy, too hungry, too nauseous, too achey to do the job well. We have students in class every day who feel the same.
Be thankful for the times you lose your temper or tear up. They allow you to thank your students for their patience and remind them that we are all, truly, just human beings trying to survive.
Let Pat go. Pat doesn’t exist. You do. And that is what really matters to your students.