Growing up teachers was always presented as infallible people who were perfect at everything and expected their students to be. This was an impossible goal to achieve and made them a person whom I could not reach out to. In my mind, it always seemed, as though how could I reach out to this teacher, they have never experienced the same thing that I am going through. Because of this experience, I have made a commitment to make teaching transparent. I let students know about the struggles that I have and how I learn how to cope with them. All my students know that I have learning disabilities that interfere with particular parts of my life. For instance, yesterday we were discussing the evolution of whales and I was reading a segment that had scientific names for the ancestors. Before I started to say the words, I warned the class about my struggle with pronunciation due to my learning disability and to understand that it is a life long goal in science to pronounce science words correctly. By having this conversation before tacking difficult reading and vocabulary, the students were more comfortable to try and pronounce the words in front of the class.
Technology has facilitated the unbounded expression of life. As an educator, I can document my story using blogs, tweets, photos, videos, and a variety of other methods. Because of my desire to share my story, all this information is available to those who are interested. Although many students have not investigated these options, they are available if a student ever chooses to learn more about me. These options are available not only to my students but to potential employers, co-workers, fellow teacher candidates, potential teacher candidates, parents, friends, family and anyone who desires to listen to my story. My story is documented in a variety of ways to allow for anyone who wants to listen.