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Practice What You Teach - The Key to Authenticity and Success

Jese Leos
· 14.9k Followers · Follow
Published in Practice What You Teach: Social Justice Education In The Classroom And The Streets (Teaching/Learning Social Justice 13)
6 min read ·
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Do you find yourself repeating the phrase "practice what you preach"? It's a common saying, yet it holds immense power and relevance in our personal and professional lives. Whether you're a teacher, a leader, a mentor, or simply someone aspiring to make a positive impact on others, practicing what you teach is an essential element for authenticity and success.

The Importance of Authenticity

Authenticity is the key to establishing trust and building genuine connections with others. When we practice what we teach, we demonstrate that we truly believe and embody the values and principles we promote. This consistency plays a vital role in creating a strong foundation of credibility and reliability.

Imagine a teacher who lectures about the importance of punctuality but consistently arrives late to class. Or a manager who preaches about teamwork but doesn't collaborate or support their team members. In these instances, the lack of authenticity undermines the credibility of their words, making it difficult for others to trust and follow their guidance.

Practice What You Teach: Social Justice Education in the Classroom and the Streets (Teaching/Learning Social Justice Book 13)
by Bree Picower (1st Edition, Kindle Edition)

4.3 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 470 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 153 pages

On the other hand, practicing what you teach fosters a genuine connection with your audience, whether it's your students, employees, or followers. It demonstrates your commitment to the values you advocate and creates a strong sense of coherence between your words and actions.

Leading by Example

As a leader, leading by example is crucial to inspire and motivate your team. When you practice what you teach, you become a role model, someone others can look up to and emulate. Your actions speak louder than words, and your consistency reinforces your message.

By embodying the principles you teach, you show your team that your guidance is not just empty rhetoric, but a way of life. This authenticity encourages others to follow suit and cultivates a culture where everyone strives to live up to the shared values.

Furthermore, practicing what you teach creates a positive ripple effect. When others witness your success, they're more likely to adopt your methods and ideas, leading to exponential growth and progress among individuals and teams.

The Challenges of Practice

While advocating the importance of practicing what you teach, it's essential to acknowledge the challenges that come along with it. Consistency requires discipline, self-reflection, and a genuine commitment to personal growth. It's not always easy to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or to follow through with our own teachings.

However, by acknowledging and embracing these challenges, we can strive for progress rather than perfection. Every day is an opportunity for growth and improvement. Embracing a growth mindset allows us to learn from our mistakes, adapt our teachings, and continuously align our actions with our principles.

The Power of Encouragement

When practicing what you teach, it's crucial to remember that nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and have moments of weakness. What truly matters is the willingness to acknowledge those imperfections and use them as opportunities to learn and grow.

As a mentor, teacher, or leader, you have the power to create a supportive environment that encourages others to embrace their flaws and learn from them. By sharing your own struggles and experiences, you demonstrate that perfection is not the goal, but continuous improvement and personal growth.

Offering constructive feedback and guidance with empathy and understanding helps individuals overcome obstacles and develop their skills. By creating a safe space for learning and growth, you inspire and motivate others to practice what they are taught.

Practice What You Teach in Practice

Now that we understand the importance of practicing what we teach, let's explore some practical ways to implement this philosophy in our personal and professional lives.

1. Self-reflection:

Take time for self-reflection and evaluate whether your actions align with your teachings. Identify areas where you can improve and make a conscious effort to bridge the gap between your words and actions.

2. Set realistic expectations:

Be realistic with yourself and others about what you can achieve. Setting realistic expectations helps avoid situations where you may fall short and compromise your authenticity.

3. Lead by example:

Show others how it's done by embodying the principles you teach. Be consistent in your actions and build trust through your genuine commitment.

4. Embrace feedback:

Seek feedback from others and be open to constructive criticism. Embracing feedback allows for personal growth and helps you become a better teacher, mentor, or leader.

5. Create a supportive environment:

Nurture a culture where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities. Encourage others to practice what they are taught by providing guidance, support, and understanding.

Practice what you teach is not just a cliché phrase; it's a fundamental principle for authenticity and success. By aligning our actions with our teachings, we establish trust, inspire others, and create a positive impact. Embracing the challenges and continuously striving for improvement allows us to grow as individuals and foster growth in others. So, let's lead by example and practice what we teach.

Practice What You Teach: Social Justice Education in the Classroom and the Streets (Teaching/Learning Social Justice Book 13)
by Bree Picower (1st Edition, Kindle Edition)

4.3 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 470 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Word Wise : Enabled
Print length : 153 pages

Many teachers enter the profession with a desire to "make a difference." But given who most teachers are, where they come from, and what pressure they feel to comply with existing school policies, how can they take up this charge? Practice What You Teach follows three different groups of educators to explore the challenges of developing and supporting teachers’ sense of social justice and activism at various stages of their careers: White pre-service teachers typically enrolled in most teacher education programs, a group of new teachers attempting to integrate social justice into their teaching, and experienced educators who see their teaching and activism as inextricably linked. Teacher educator Bree Picower delves into each of these group’s triumphs and challenges, providing strategies and suggestions for all teachers along with her in-depth analysis.

By understanding all these challenges, pre-service and in-service teachers, along with teacher educators, will be in a better position to develop the kind of political analysis that lays the foundation for teacher activism. This timely resource helps prepare and support all educators to stand up for equity and justice both inside and outside of the classroom and offers a more nuanced portrait of what the struggle to truly "make a difference" looks like.

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