The other day I was conducting mock interviews with student teachers at a local college. The last young lady I interviewed said something that surprised me.
Me: What are the three most important things for me to know about you?
Young lady: … The second thing for you to know about me is that I am silly.
I have to admit, I can’t recall much of what the other candidates told me in response to this question, but I do remember her response. She gave me some examples, like she is the leader of her college’s Quidditch organization. I instantly related to her because I too am silly.
We spent Easter with my dad and his wife. During the course of one of our conversations, I showed him my musical.ly app and a few of the videos I created. He responded with something like, “Why would you ever make something like this? Do you show this to people? Do they know you are a principal?” You would think that I was recreating Miley Cyrus videos.
It is risky to be silly isn’t it? I think that is why some people think I have so much confidence, because I am willing to be silly in front of others. Alas, I suffer from the same self-doubt and imposter syndrome as many do, but I appreciate being silly too much to keep it under wraps. The risk lies in potential judgement–what will people think if I am silly like this? I do care about what people think, I just don’t care enough to let it stop me from doing the things I value.
I am a teacher to my core, so I always feel the need to share what I value with others so that maybe it could benefit them like it benefits me. I share my silliness through social media like musical.ly, Instagram and Voxer. I am also silly in real-life as much as I can be, with my sons, husband, friends, and family. I am silly with my students and colleagues at school. To me, a day without silliness is a day wasted. It brings a light-hearted fun and positive energy into life that fuels my creativity and helps me find joy in the simplest of things. A haircut, for example: Haircut musical.ly video (15 seconds)
I also think that is one of the reasons why my principalship at Quincy Elementary has been such a natural fit. Case in point, from our Staff VS Fifth Graders Bball Game on 3/31/16:
What do we teach our students and our own children through role-modeling silliness? I believe that we teach them to not take life so seriously, to not sweat the small stuff, to invite joy and fun into our lives as much as possible, to be generous with our fun by sharing it with others, and to have fun WITH others rather than AT the expense of others. The list could go on and on.
So please tell me, do you value being silly? How do your share your silliness? Do you let potential judgements by others influence your silliness? Does silliness have a place on Twitter for educators? I follow Dean Shareski @shareski (who is a silliness role-model) and a tweet he sent out a few weeks ago has me thinking–are we too one-dimensional on Twitter?
(See more Quincy fun and silliness, and character building: Something BIG at Quincy 4min)