My Greatest Strength?

This week’s #YourEduStory blog post asks, “What is the best thing you do at your site?”

This question makes me very, very uncomfortable. I do NOT like showcasing or broadcasting my strengths or accomplishments, in part because I believe that just about everything comes from a team effort. Even Michael Jordan might not have become a superstar had it not been for his highly competitive and supportive family. And even then, would MJ have won any championships were it not for supporting players like Scottie Pippen or Horace Grant?

I have a tough time answering this question because I feel like every day is a constant struggle against all my weaknesses and all my shortcomings. If I succeed 99 times in a day and fail once, I can guarantee that I will fixate on the failure and not on the successes. The shortcomings always last longer in my mind that the triumphs.

Perhaps the best thing I do at my school is to do just this. One of the standards of teaching excellence is being a reflective teacher. As a neurotic introvert, I am reflecting 24/7 and constantly adjusting and honing in order to build engagement and critical thinking skills. Although my lessons are rarely perfect, I am constantly tweaking and adjusting to inch my way toward perfection.

To paraphrase the great Karl Lindgren-Streicher: I know that I will never be perfect, which bothers me. But I will always keep striving for perfection.



  1. Travis, I love your honesty and as Carol Dweck would say: your Growth Mindset will take you to achieving much in your life. I often am told I am extremely analytical, which I acknowledge quite readily. It was why I was suited to accounting (my profession before retraining to become a teacher 8 years ago), but it is also why I can reflect constantly in my role as a teacher. Teaching is adjusting and honing, almost like playing a piano accordian the way we manipulate each and every ‘note’ with what we see as being required for ‘that’ child. Look forward to more of your posts.

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