Yesterday, I attended an IEP meeting in my new role as Lead Teacher for our Hearing Itinerant program. As we were completing the paperwork, people asked questions about what forms to use and what to write. There was one form I'd never used before and they all looked to me, wanting to know what to do. Since I've only been lead teacher for two months, I was able to say - "I don't know, I've never done this form before." without fear of consequences. I figure I've got until after winter break to use the "I'm new at this" excuse.
But then it hit me - so I said it out loud - god forbid I don't blurt out every thought in my head - "They appointed me the lead but I'm just an itinerant teacher - I have no special skills or knowledge to be the Lead!" Which is completely true! Luckily, it was a great group at the meeting and we got the paperwork done and everyone left happy.
I was just thinking about this again and it reminded me of when I won the Cheerios contest and got the book contract. After the news got out, I started being asked for my opinion on all aspects of the writing/publishing process from both writer friends and writer strangers. I was even asked to speak at our local SCBWI group about my experiences with the contest, publishing...
At the meeting, after explaining that I'd only had 1 1/2 beers with dinner (I didn't want to start rumors about being a drunk) I told the group - some of whom were waiting to hear from a knowledgeable, about-to-be-published author - I said, "I'm just a writer like all of you and six months ago I was a writer who'd never gotten a positive response in all the years I'd been submitting my work!"
So, what's my point? My point is, I'm amazed how giving someone a new title - "Lead Teacher" "Contest Winner" "Published Author" - it instantly changes the way people perceive you and the expectations they have of you. It's crazy, isn't it? Has this happened to anyone else?
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?