Last week I saw Michelle Obama, Amal Clooney, and Melinda French Gates interviewed on CNN by Sara Sidner. They were talking about Michelle Obama’s Mission: Empowering Girls. At one point, they were asked about self-doubt. When I heard these powerhouse women speak about their own self-doubt, my own felt normalized and acceptable.

As I said to a group of teachers earlier in the week, teachers have an incredible opportunity to influence and empower their students in so many ways. How powerful to talk about our own vulnerability in front of students. How powerful to admit our failings or regret. How powerful to remind students of these messages, shared by the women in the interview, that can become ongoing, internal self-talk: “I am worthy.” “Pay attention to that flame in you.” “Believe in yourself.” “Seek knowledge.” “Keep on. You’re getting there.”

At the end of the program, Sara Bareilles sung her song Brave. I was thinking about how many of the lyrics in this song can be messages shared with students, too:

“You can be amazing.”

“Let the light in.”

“Be Brave.”

Messages for all of us, teachers and students alike.

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