Fake It 'til You Make It

Saturday, January 7, 2017
Last night, I messaged with a parent on Class Dojo and I ended with “That’s my fault, not yours.” As I pressed send, I thought how it would have pained me to send that sentence a few years ago. I’ve become much better in owning up to my shortcomings in the classroom and in life.  I’ve told friends turning 30 isn’t something to be sad about—my thirties have been much better than my twenties thus far.  Finally being able to let go a little has been a major contributing factor.

Starting out in any career is hard.  There’s so much to learn and the only way to improve is to learn from your mistakes.  In teaching, it’s especially hard because each of those mistakes has the potential to wreak havoc on twenty-some little lives.  It’s a lot of pressure.  Most teachers are perfectionists and that’s a good thing—no one wants a slacker teaching their children.  But it makes for a very high stress level when you’re just starting out.

As humans and especially as women, we don’t like to admit our weakness.  I spent years on the defense in the classroom, pretending I knew what I was doing when really I didn’t have a clue.  I never would’ve admitted it—don’t we all leave college knowing it all?  Marriage is similar.  I used to pick an argument every time my husband pointed out an imperfection, no matter how right he was.  (Those ten years he has on me are the bane of my existence at times.) And speaking of being right, I definitely thought I knew it all when it came to my plan for my life versus God’s.  It took me years to talk openly about the fact that we have tried and failed at having children. 

I’m not suggesting that we all walk around talking about how lacking we are and how bad we have it.  I’m not sure it would go over too well if we advertised at Open House that we’d be making some mistakes in disciplining the students, running late grading papers at times, and mixing up the best order in which to teach things thanks to the ever changing curriculum.  By all means, I’m not advising you to admit to your spouse that they’re right!  😉 And sometimes I still question my decision to talk publicly about personal struggles. We’re women.  We’re teachers.  We’re going to fake it 'til we make it, because that’s what we do. 

What I am suggesting is that we don’t feel so guilty about the faking it and that sometimes, when the moment is right, we do admit- to parents, to our students, to our spouses, to our co-workers, family and friends- that we don’t have it all together.  Our honesty may be just the encouragement the new teacher down the hall needs in deciding she can stick it out for at least another year.  A little transparency with our students will teach them that it’s truly okay to make mistakes; actions speak louder than words.  That parent is going to be a lot more open to partnering with us if we admit we don’t have all the answers just like they don’t.  The people all around us want (and need) us to be real.  

Candor is perhaps my favorite quality in a person. 

Today my devotion featured just one Bible verse, 2 Corinthians 12:9:
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  In other words, we might as well keep on faking it.  We never had the power to make it on our own anyway.   But, thank goodness, His grace is sufficient and because of Him, we can relax and admit we don’t have it all together.  

One day at a time, sweet Jesus…


  1. As always, I appreciate your *candor* in blogging.
    Thank you for sharing these life lessons with your readers.:)

  2. Thanks, Wendy! I so appreciate you reading.