Humility replaces pride

Guest blog by Andrew Oberman, Middle School Social Studies

Prior to reading The Six Virtues of the Educated Person (TSVOTEP), I would tell my students to take pride in their work, their athletic achievements and their lives.  This was a weakness.  In my personal and professional life, pride manifested itself in a mentality that said my way was always the best way.  My own pride meant that I didn’t value the opinions, views and beliefs of others.  This sometimes resulted in a lack of patience and willingness to help.

Primarily due to the readings from Dr. Hurley’s class I have discovered that it is not my role to provide this type of leadership and not the example I want to give my students.  TSVOTEP (2009) in particular, has opened my eyes to the type of leader and person I want to be and the example I want to set for my students. This has driven me to be more open to others and to change some of my self-centered behavior and views.

Throughout this school year I have tried more to serve the needs of others.  As a mentor to two first-year teachers, I have had the opportunity to lead, follow and collaborate. I am now humbled by their improvement from the beginning of the semester to the end.

In the past my pride would have limited my collaboration and manifested itself in an authoritarian, pride-based leadership style. This would have resulted in far less growth and development for these beginning teachers.

Humility has not only helped me as a leader and teacher, but as a person. I find myself having more patience with others because I have reduced my feelings of pride. Humility has allowed me to see that I do not always know the best way to do something and that others have valid opinions and ideas, too. It has fundamentally changed the way I approach my career and personal life.


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