Blog Posts


[Teacher Tips] Be Yourself

Educators have a great responsibility to help our students learn to be themselves, be open to different experiences, and be accepting of others. This week’s Secret Lifer, Alan Sage, Vegetarian Scientist, shows us that he became who he is today because of these traits.

I was incredibly inspired listening to Alan. He seems to have created his life exactly as Bob Dylan believed we should when he said, “All I can do is be me, whoever that is.”

Alan is a man who grew up understanding himself and accepting his…idiosyncrasies. From spending day upon day at the Subway Transit Museum in New York, to befriending the minority students in the other classes in his high school, to becoming a Jewish rapper, Mr. Sage shows us that being yourself can help you find your path in life.

Alan takes his cue from Bob Dylan.

He also spoke quite eloquently of the fact that he had no idea where he was going until a special molecular biology teacher opened his eyes to the possibilities of this field. I believe that his ability to be open to new ideas, such as rapping, allowed him to be open to learning and, consequently, becoming an Intel finalist, forever changing his life.

Listening to Alan reminds me that, as an educator, I can never be sure what might spark the interest of a child, what might change a life forever, what might be the trigger that gets them moving in a different direction. And my ultimate job is to help them stay open to the possibilities. So each new lesson, be it physics, history, writing, or even biology, must be presented with the excitement needed to start a young mind on the path to success. And isn’t that what teaching is all about?

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Lisa Parisi

    Lisa has been an elementary school teacher in the Herricks School District on Long Island, NY for over 25 years. She enjoys blogging about her classroom and what she’s learned by bringing technology into her classroom. She also co-hosts a weekly webcast called Conversations where she discusses educational topics. She enjoys working with educators, presenting at conferences and writing articles about providing tools that help make instruction more accessible to all students. She has co- written a book about blogging in the classroom and is looking forward to it being published soon. Lisa’s secret life is that she loves earrings. She collects them from every place she visits and picks up a pair or two each time she goes into a store. She and her teenage daughter share their earrings, since they both love to wear them. Lisa’s jewelry box is now overflowing and her husband is forever on the lookout for a larger box to house them all.