I think my skin is thicker.
I think it hurts less. But then I learn it does not hurt less, but more, in the moment.
I learned that some of new my students think I talk too much. I call them by name and they feel called out. They perceive me as rushing out of class.
Stunned and hurt, I accept and apologize.
I thought they liked me. I try to read my class and my students. They seemed to like my sharing and my teaching. But a few do not.
It is hard not to be defensive. It is hard to feel that being me is not offensive. It is not simply a matter of being misunderstood but a matter that I apparently did not understand who I was seeing.
So I dry my tears.
And I realize no offense was intended on the part of my students. And I realize I did not attend to offend by the way I teach.
This is not the first time but that makes it even worse. I am new elsewhere in the community and have received no complaints.
So what do I do?
- Acknowledge my feelings were hurt.
- Acknowledge I am not always going to be embraced everywhere I go.
- Assess the feedback.
- Make a plan to change what I can.
- Let go of any reactive assumptions.
- Remember I am paid to serve a function.
- Realize if I change and they still don’t like me, I did all I could.
- Let go of any need to control.
- Let go of the results.
- Be in the moment.
This time I know I have not been short or impatient. This time I know I have done my best to give my best. This time I know I was not stressed out. There have been times in the past when I was overworked and teaching too much. I avoid that.
It is hard to let go of the feeling that who I am is not good enough.
All I can do is change, and change I will. But receiving critical feedback is tough and it doesn’t get easier. In the scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Being misunderstood is nothing new. It happens to everyone.
I can breathe and let go.
Yoga is how I engage. I have to find a way to engage this group that works for them and me. That is the yoga in teaching, finding the flow and letting the hurt go because it’s not about me though reading this you may not know.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons