No, not that kind. Although I do love that kind.
I had a teacher friend who once said ‘If you have to shout, you’ve already lost.’ She got run over by a bus. Sad really. I was there and I tried to warn her but apparently standing in silence with your arm in the air waiting for someone to notice you just doesn’t cut the mustard in some situations.
I like shouting. I’m good at it too. I’ve got a range of different ones that I can use in any particular situation.
I’ve got Rising Tide where I talk very softly then rapidly reach a crescendo at the end of a sentence in case they continue to TALK OVER ME!
I’ve got The Pistol Shrimp: a short, one syllable ‘HEY!’ designed to incapacitate the victim or at least temporarily stop them from doing something nasty or daft .
And then there’s The Rain-Maker: a devastating weapon of total annihilation which I only pull out for special occasions, the gravest of situations…or when I get a bit bored.
Nope, shouting is a useful part of any teacher’s repertoire, that’s for sure
But that’s not what I’m on about here. The type of shouting I’m on about took me a little longer to get to grips with and I still haven’t completely mastered it yet but it’s also essential to the job (especially if you’re thinking of sharing something good that you’re doing that you think might be of some benefit to your charges and others).
If you have an excellent idea to help improve grades, if you can control the classes that make others give serious consideration to a change in career, if you’re using technology in an interesting way you better learn to shout about it; loud and hard and at every opportunity. I know that self-promotion can make people break out in a cold sweat and as a profession we seem singularly inclined to do ourselves down at the best of times but you need to get past it. Get over it.
Shout about the fine things you are doing, the achievements, the learning. You have to.
Because if you don’t they will.
They are the people whose ideas may not be particularly good, whose teaching may be average or worse. But those things don’t matter if they’re using their voice and you are not. They’ll be heard. Their average, loud ideas will get promoted before your silent, brilliant ones. They’ll appeal to other average people who are loud of voice and that’s when idiocy thrives.
For everyone’s sake, find your voice, find your voice and use it. Shyness is not an excuse. Modesty is not an excuse. These are concepts that don’t exist for The Mediocre Loud let alone hold them back. The best ideas in the world mean nothing until you tell them to someone. So tell someone. Make things better. Because it’s a race against those who are able to self-promote at ease but have nothing that even closely resembles an original thought in their heads.
You’ve got to compete with that.
Find your voice.