I’m going to start with a confession – I am useless at reading people and always have been. Here’s another – when you meet me, you meet the authentic me – the real, true version as I have never figured out how to be anything different. I always assumed that everyone was the same but I have discovered through trial and error that this isn’t always the case. Just because people are being kind to my face doesn’t mean that they are not stabbing me in the back.
I find authenticity all the more fascinating in the virtual world. To be authentic fundamentally means to be our true selves but when we are faced with a thousand potential critics are we ourselves on places like Twitter?
Some people absolutely aren’t – beware of those who pose as primary teachers! I have had some bizarre DMs from people who weren’t interested in education and clearly had a very different agenda. My suggestion regarding these sorts of people would be unfollow immediately, remove yourself from the chat and consider blocking.
Back to my authenticity though. Am I authentically me on Twitter? I am as authentic as I can be in a virtual world but I am words on a page and not me. You can’t hear me speak, see my facial expressions or watch my mannerisms and these things tell you so much about a person. You are words on a page too, but I like so many of those words and trust that you are who you write you are. I trust that you are being authentic.
Is authenticity a good thing though if there are those out there not being authentic? I believe it is – authenticity is about you having the courage to be you and me having the courage to be me.
So who am I?
I am someone who is passionate and enthusiastic about most things and I have a tendency to become over-excited. My husband (a calm and placid man) finds my clapping and bouncing around vaguely annoying but the children I teach love it. I also like planning, marking, analysing data and making my learning environment useful and interactive.
I love learning and having deep and meaningful conversations about education. I like to be challenged in my thinking so that I can further develop it. One of my best friends is a maths advisor and we have the best. dinner conversations (even if we are out with our husbands). We just talk maths and it is glorious! Others may think I’m mad but this is me.
I love people and really like to be helpful. I think this is because that is what Jesus told us to do again and again. I nearly didn’t write that because I didn’t know what you would think of it, but I am being authentic so I did and my faith is a fundamental part of who I am.
On writing that last sentence I realise that I am not as authentic as I think. I’m afraid of being judged. Authenticity – true authenticity takes a great deal of courage and I wonder therefore how many of us really are our authentic selves.
I could continue to warble on about who I am but I’m now wondering if I am giving you the version of me that I want you to see? This word – authenticity – has brought up more questions than there are answers. However, I know one thing – I want to keep learning who I am and more than anything I want to be brave enough to be me out there. I hope you do too!