Working in an international school presents me with all sorts of opportunities to witness how different people from different countries do things. From what certain people eat to how they speak to how they … make merry.. it’s an interesting experience.
One thing I’ve noticed is that as a general rule, we Canadians tend to downplay our strengths. There is some self-deprecating insecurity that we all project when it comes to promoting our skills and abilities. In the name of being the least offensive person in the room, we often begin sentences with “I don’t know but…” or “I’m not really sure what I’m talking about but I kind of think…” or whatever beginning phrase is least abrasive… least American.. yes I said it.
Not so with some of my colleagues who are able to begin sentences with “I know that I’m right because..” or “First of all, you’re wrong…” or….
I’m amused by it and often wonder if my approach of trying to be something like “humble and loveable” is in fact the right one all the time. Probably not.
This year I have a new position at work and so I’m “in charge” of a few other teachers. We are currently in the process of self-evaluation which means that I am to sit these teachers down and have “conversations” with them about their strengths and weaknesses. Deep down I find that it’s all a bit awkward. Especially when you consider that most of them have more teaching experience than I do and all but one are older than me. I do believe that I am competent and actually quite good at my job but I have issues when it comes to trying to promote myself or speak with any authority on the matter. I suppose this is all part of the learning curve.
I probably do need to become a bit more confident in my use of language and the way I present myself to others. I just need to figure out how to do that without sounding like an <insert appropriate expletive here>.
And that’s where I’m at with that!