I can convince an Eskimo to buy ice, or so it was said. When I worked at Books-a-Million (BAM) our job was to sell discount cards. I can practically hear you thinking, “You worked at a bookstore; your job was to sell books.” Not at this bookstore, our job was to sell discount cards. I could convince a person that they needed to purchase a discount card like a beast.
Once, I persuaded a guy to buy a card in Spanish. My Spanish skills are mediocre at best. I talked people into buying a card that didn’t even have a BAM in their city. I’m not entirely proud of my selling abilities because I didn’t always use my powers for good. I sold discount cards because I got a very, very small commission and I didn’t get fired. For 4 year, I sold discount cards and when the company wasn’t looking I sold books and myself. NO, I’m NOT a prostitute, get your head out of the gutter.
When I was in the stack and not behind the register, I was a totally different person. I was Katie Book Lover, not Katie Discount Card Seller. I would have the most intellectually stimulating conversations with guests that I’ve ever had outside of a classroom. (inversely, I’d have some of the stupidest conversations i’ve ever had in my life as well. (Yes, Yes, I did type stupidest intentionally. (And Yes, I did use parenthesis in parenthesis))) I’d learn about their lives, their likes, and I was the one that was able to convince a student to read that hadn’t picked up a book since elementary school.
Now lets fast-forward to now-ish, I regularly get job interviews to work as a teacher. During those job interviews, I have found the one think that I can not sell, my self-confidence. I can not string together an intelligent sentence to save my life. It’s like I’ve contracted the stupid virus and I say the exact opposite words to get me hired. I once told an interviewer about times that I had sent students to the office. No principal wants to hear about times when I couldnt’ handle students and made more work for them! I completely blanked on what the word “formative” was in my last interview.
I feel like I’m sabotaging myself. I have the skills, I have the knowledge, and I have the confidence once I’m in the classroom. As Neil Gaiman told Jenny Lawson, “Pretend you’re good at it.” His way of saying, fake it until you make it. Which is an actual scientific thing; I read an article on.
This year, I’m writing my goals down.
- Walk daily, part of my self-confidence issues stem from my weight. I feel like I would feel better in general if I moved more
- Read as much as possible. Fiction, non-fiction, teaching books, EVERYTHING
- Write as much as possible. (Sorry in advance for my rants, WordPress people) And it helps me to figure things out.
- Substitute teach as much as my schedule will allow.
- Stop making excuses.
Writing things down helps with accountability.