I entered a G/T class in fourth grade and quickly understood what it meant to be a nerd. Unfortunately, I was one. I bucked that image as soon as I started junior high and didn’t look back.
Today, however, my teenage daughter would definitely call me a nerd and I embrace that label. I get excited about perfect-looking avocados when I cut them open, fun new Chrome extensions, and writing blog posts on airplanes.
I can sit and talk with someone about teaching, leadership, educational technology, writing or books for as long as we have time (if they are interesting, that is). I get excited when that person has a similar passion for life and wants to share it with me. I was practically bouncing up and down when a friend asked me to explain the Chromebooks that her children will be getting through school next year. I may get a bit emblazoned when discussing some local leadership practices that go directly against what is best for students and teachers. Do those things make me a nerd?
How about these?
- I make up silly songs to make my son laugh.
- I use words like “rad” to make my daughter roll her eyes.
- I take pictures of perfectly-ripened avocados.
- I read picture books to kids using silly voices because it’s more fun for me.
- I read. A lot. And not always thought-provoking nonfiction. (or hardly ever actually)
- I love to play board games. And card games (especially Euchre and Cribbage).
- I like math (well only Algebra-type math. Trig is not fun math, and no one can convince me otherwise)
- I wear a helmet when I ride my bike.
- I have living room dance parties to hip hop from the 90s.
- I say things like, “Look at the sky. Isn’t it beautiful today?” to my kids who are so wonderful that they always look and agree.
I could go on, and probably get even nerdier if that is even the correct term. I’m not so sure. It seemed right when I started the post, but now other words are resonating more with me, like
Disparaging labels are flung too freely these days – often we are the ones using them about ourselves. And while I’ll still jokingly call myself a nerd when the occasion calls for it (because I own that, people), I need to also embrace my awesomeness. If not for myself, then to be a good model for my children who are always watching and listening. But really, for myself, too.