Bringing My Whole Self to the Classroom -
A Teacher's Perspective
As a high school teacher, and having done a lot of professional development over the past ten years, I can say without a doubt that LBX was one of the most powerful experiences that I have ever had, and the one that I found the most useful for my career in public education.
LBX is a mini course on leadership, helping you navigate back to your own sense of self/your own identity and what truly is at the core of you, and from this place, you can then lead students. Not only this, the course provides insight and tools for guiding students get themselves back to their own sense of self.
When I started teaching 12 years ago, all I could concentrate on was lesson planning and imparting knowledge to my 12th graders. I truly thought that teaching was all about putting together the right lesson plan, creating the material and activities, and nothing more.
Reality hit with my first teaching job, where I learned that teaching was equal parts the relationships and how you as a teacher show up in the classroom, and the content you taught and how you present it. On some days, I truly feel that it is 90% relationships and 10% content, and that's where LBX is so vital.
If you are not aware of how you treat yourself and how you present yourself to the class, it will be awfully hard to be an effective teacher and reach all your students. Some are intrinsically motivated but most need a human touch to thrive.
LBX presented me with the ability to figure out how to get in touch with the true human in me, and to realize that I’ve been in states that are limited and make it hard to be a compassionate, empathetic and strong leader in the classroom.
I learned that for a variety of reasons, we show up in the classroom with our own personal stories -- not only about ourselves, but about our students as well. We label them as "unteachable" or "lost" or "problematic", and with this label we often stop trying to reach them.
In addition, students trigger us constantly, triggering past experiences and old wounds within ourselves. We take these offenses to heart, get thrown off and can no longer see the situation for what it truly is. From this state, we react and can make mistakes and create breaches in relationships with students that are truly the key to success in classrooms. I certainly have done this, and it’s been heartbreaking.
LBX taught me how to recognize these moments so that I could figure out what was going on in my head in order to open up and be more honest and act from a place of my true self versus some old wound or vague assumption. When I experience myself in my wholeness, I am much more calm and confident in front of my students, and I can handle the challenges and stressful moments with a lot more ease.
LBX to me has two functions for teachers. The first is helping us get resourced for ourselves by recognizing moments when we are in state of reactivity, and shifting ourselves back to authenticity and leadership. The second is to recognize in our students when they are in a distorted state and get curious about what’s going on before we jump to conclusions. I see this as a win-win for everyone.
Often professional development courses give us tricks for dealing with different types of students or the latest technology use for a lesson plan. LBX.edu is really about the self--the person that creates the lesson plans, the person that breathes life into each day of class, the person that calls roll, that walks over to each of their students' desk with their myriad needs to have that one-on-one moment with them, the person who can create more curiosity in their students or push them away. It all depends on how we show up.
The only place that this can be taught is by going to the heart and to one's true self, and that's what LBX helps one realize.
- Jeanne Scheppach
High School teacher, San Ramone, California