Beating the Imposter Syndrome

If you haven’t heard of the “Imposter Syndrome” read this article by the amazing Megan Allen. She talks about the terrible truth that is the imposter syndrome.

Check all that apply:

  • You feel like you are the weakest link on your team.
  • You think everyone else is thinking lowly of you.
  • You don’t think you will ever be taken seriously.
  • You feel inadequate.

You checked all the boxes? So did I.

My crippling social anxiety kept me from standing up in front of my peers and showing just how educated and prepared I was. I thought that if I did, they would reject me. Who am I but some twenty-something who teaches and drinks her way through her twenties? Oh that’s right, I am a highly educated, qualified, passionate, and determined teacher. Here are some things you can do to beat the imposter syndrome.

  1. Find your passion – besides your curriculum, what are you passionate about happening in your school? Passion projects are what will keep you from losing your mind, but also give you your own place in your school. It is something that sets you apart. My passion project is my dance team. I saw that my students were not able to finance after school activities like dance so I started a team. I call this a passion project because I still have yet to get a paycheck from it and you might not ever get one either. What I did receive from it was evidence that I can create something and it can be successful.
  2. Voice your triumphs – once you start doing what you love and making a difference, you are going to start getting questions. Own up to it. Don’t just say “oh geez” or “it was nothing.” Stand up and own what you have worked so hard on. Be proud. Fake the confidence until you have it. 
  3. Say something in your next staff meeting – how many times have you sat in a staff meeting thinking that no one is saying what everyone is thinking? Be the person who takes a stand. Say it kindly and say it with authority. Use sound logic and evidence to support that opinion. If it is purely emotional, it will not be taken seriously. 
  4. Take risks – when there is a time to step up and help plan something, take on a new role, or go to a meeting that isn’t required, do it! What’s the worst that could happen? 
  5. Stay informed – it is so important to know what educational moves are happening around the world and in your district. Spend time reading and go to a board meeting. Being in the know means that you are valuable. Amp up your twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with all of teacher resources you can get. Eventually reading educational articles and surfing the ed-web will become second nature. 

So go forth and conquer your schools and districts, but keep me informed! I want to know all the cool things happening around the ed world.

My Teacher Leader Manifesto

A teacher leader manifesto is an ever growing and changing document. This document is supposed to represent my why as a teacher leader. The idea for the teacher leader manifesto was not my own, but inspired by teachers before me.

My Teacher Leader Manifesto

Teaching is at the core of my being. To teach is to give people the power to be more than they currently are. Unfortunately, when decisions about how to teach or what to teach are made, classroom teachers and students are often left out. Teachers, on average, will leave the classroom by their fifth year of year of teaching. We are overworked, under paid, and underappreciated. I believe this is largely because lifetime teachers care more about what they do and who they are teaching than almost anything else. Love of the field. This is both the curse and the blessing of being a lifetime teacher. That is why I pledge to be both a classroom teacher and a teacher leader.

I will work to make sure teachers are informed, involved, and loved. Teachers are powerful humans with an undying desire to better society. As a teacher leader, I will try to harness that power to evolve the teaching field from what it is today to a field where lifetime teachers have the power to improve policy and curriculum.

I pledge to work to better my students.

To have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of my subject. To work to improve curriculum while it happens and to use constant formative assessment to make sure I am aiding all my students in their quest for knowledge.

I pledge to work to better schools.

To make schools a safe place for all students to learn and all teachers to teach. To educate teachers on how to reach new heights. To work with administration to build trust with their teachers. To promote teacher’s voices above all else.

I pledge to better the field of education.

To research in order to educate myself and others on important policy decisions and on who policy makers in my area of influence are. To stand up for what is right even if the times are tough. To never give up on education.

I pledge to be an open book.

To not keep my success and my struggles a secret so that I may be able to help others and they may be able to help me. To make sure I never stop learning and leading.

I pledge to seek to connect to people.

To learn from other’s experiences. To not reinvent the wheel, but bridge the gap in minds and create places where educators can discuss successes and hang-ups. To connect the community to their school. To make learning transparent.

I pledge to love.

To show all humans that they are cared for and respected.

I pledge to be human.

To care for my family and my health first and foremost. To make mistakes, but learn from them.


Haley Kennedy – 2017