On the positive side, it brings a sense of awe and gratefulness that I get the opportunity to train the staff of an organization that does important work with people who have a developmental disability. However, feeling like an imposter also scares me, as at times I am not sure I can continue operating at a level where staff do not realize I am an imposter. If I am not careful, my feelings start to overwhelm me, undermine my confidence and effect how I perform my role as a trainer. Recently, my manager told me to “remember to walk in your expertise”. These words have helped me stave off some of the negative thoughts I get from feeling like an imposter.
When I investigated Brookfield’s truth further, I was surprised to find a significant amount of written information and videos about people who have what is referred to as the imposter syndrome. In a Ted Talk with Valerie Young she discusses the impact of having this syndrome, including the tendency to diminish our expertise and abilities, and the feeling that one day people will figure out we are imposters (Young, 2017). I have included Young’s Ted Talk below, as well as the link to an article I found helpful around how teachers can overcome the negative impacts of the imposter syndrome.
Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom
(3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
TED Archive. (2017, June 5). Thinking your way out of imposter syndrome: Valerie Young [Video File].
Retrieved April 20, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7v-GG3SEWQ