5 Wonderful Ways to Be Weird

Beatles Museum AlkmaarImage by FaceMePLS via Flickr

“I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn’t weird at all, and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.” Paul McCartney

What makes you, you?

What makes normal, normal?

What if “normal” just another word for boring? 


I love Lisa Durff’s cat in the hat and the funny avatars of some people. There are those who love virtual worlds and others who just love to banter on Twitter. We all bring something different to the table.


My Dad has always told me about criticism that the only people who are criticized are those who are actually doing something. He’ll say to me, 

“Hey, you’ve arrived. If someone thinks you’re worth taking the time time criticize then you’re doing something that someone has noticed. Don't be so upset.”

 Daddy, when will I really listen?



The only consistent  thing you and I have in common between this side of the monitor and that one is that we’re different. Let’s celebrate the things that some would say make us “weird.”


In Camilla, they used to think that this blogging thing is “weird” – now not so much. But I did go stick a foursquare cling up in the front office and I’ve emerged into weird again. I don’t care. Part of me needs to be experimenting, learning, and pushing the envelope and learning! If that is weird , then so be it. That is me.


That is you too!


I agree with Paul McCartney – how often do you hear the extraordinary person ever take time to call another person weird?


It usually comes from those who want to keep others “in line” – status quo, wanting to do the same thing the same way forever. Don’t be different from us – don’t do anything new – that’s weird – come back over here with “us” and be “normal.” Stay the same. Don’t move forward.


Celebrate being YOU! If someone criticizes you or calls you “weird” – hats off – you’re in good company. 


Think of those in history who were very different – most often it is the punctuation marks – the exclamation points of history – the leaders, the creators who have this label and also the joy of leaving a legacy of change and leadership. (And certainly, some with negative legacies as well.)

We all live in a yellow submarine.”


Who would picture that as a great song – kinda weird? 


Nope. Not after McCartney and his Beattle Buddies sang it. No longer weird. 


After you sing your tune and people see how it is put together, you might not be weird either! You might just be a visionary.

(Oh, by the way, Paul McCartney has written his first ballet, to debut in September.)

5 Ways to be Weird (in a good way ;-)

  1. Break your routine. Go somewhere different. Go outside when you usually go inside. Eat a different kind of food.
  2. Associate with people who are different than you. Find someone who is not in your “circle of friends” this week and spend some time getting to know him/her. Ask him about his childhood. Ask her about her favorite things to do. Listen.
  3. Find something that inspires you. Search for your favorite creative pasttime on Youtube and learn something new.
  4. Do something creative. Art. Poetry. A Blog. Tweet a haiku. Take 15 minutes to create something out of the ordinary. Take a photograph.
  5. Turn off the technology. Take an hour, a day or a week and turn it ALL off. All of it. TV. Radio. (did I just say radio – who listens to that any more?) Cell phone. Computers. Twitter. All of it. Go somewhere to be alone without it. Or just sit in your house Clear your mind and think. Use a mindmap or your journal or whatever to just think about your life, something creative, anything. Just take a mental vacation. Tackle something you’ve been wanting to spend time thinking about. Just be. 

    So, you say you “can't” turn it off. Let me ask you – if it is so important who is going to answer your phone when you die? Well, as the book I'm reading The Way We're Working Isn't Working says that people who take vacations live longer AND actually get better performance reviews. The more vacation they take, the higher the reviews!


To Zero
To finish up, I dedicate this post to a dear, talented, super bright someone I know that has named himself “zero.” He thinks that everything multiplied by zero makes zero, but what he doesn't know is that people like him make others better and lives more interesting. 

When I have a student like him – he takes my 1 and ads a zero on the end to make the interest level in my classroom into a 10! He takes me to a whole new place!


Often people who think they are zeroes are just that – they take us to new places!!


Letter to my Zero
My dear zero, I identify with you because here are times in my life, more recent than you might think, that I thought I was a zero too. Celebrate that you are different and be who you are. You are dear, smart, and amazing and this too shall pass. I pray that I can be a magnifying glass for your soul to see the talent and wonder you bring into this world. You take me to new places.


Find the Zeroes – Help them see their 10-ship
Teachers, remember your noble calling. Look for the student who names himself “zero” and find what makes him/her great. YOU can and should do it. This is your noble calling. No one will ever pay you enough nor understand that this calling isn't a job it is the mission of your very soul. It is what you are put on this earth to do. 


Love those kids in your classroom. They are your legacy and no, not a one of them is a zero. 

You're not either. You may be tired. You may be disheartened. If you are, your emotions are LYING to you. YOU, my friend, are a vital link to our future!! You are the nobility of the modern generation – ACT like it!


In fact, if you're a teacher, educator, principal, IT director, parent volunteer – anyone giving their life to this generation – you're a perfect 10 to me!


Remember your noble calling!

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    Vicki Davis

    Vicki Davis

    Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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    14 comments

    David Andrade March 24, 2011 - 1:17 pm

    Thanks for letting me know that my weirdness is ok! :-)

    jodieviviano March 24, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    I often say I was put on this earth to teach…. somedays I wonder if its true…. but it truly is and I like that weird is good!! This is how I catch and keep attention of students…..

    itjil March 24, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    Love this post. Waaaaaay back in the day, I had an avatar partially named zero. I am thankful for the teachers (in school & out) who helped me become who I am today. I’m not a zero anymore. Weird can be a really good thing, it works for me. lol

    coolcatteacher March 24, 2011 - 6:22 pm

    It is great to be ok with who we are!

    coolcatteacher March 24, 2011 - 6:22 pm

    It can be! Zeroes end up being AMAZING people! Thank you for sharing!

    coolcatteacher March 24, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Yes, many that some would call “weird” really can keep the attention of students!

    coolcatteacher March 24, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    It is not just OK – let’s celebrate it! Thank you for commenting.

    Brian Beck March 24, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    Never considered myself weird (different maybe) this confirms it. We are who we are, Praise the Lord!

    C Haynie March 27, 2011 - 10:57 pm

    What an outstanding article. School House Rock had Zero the Hero! I tell my students they will never have another teacher like me!
    I want to forward this article to everyone I know -the wierd and the not so wierd. We need to celebrate our uniqueness and it is important to allow kids to celebrate their uniqueness too.

    Bduchscherer March 29, 2011 - 1:12 am

    Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I LOVE being a little weird!

    Mrsspeed April 4, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    What would I do without this blog. I swear you know what I need to hear. Thank you!

    coolcatteacher April 5, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Thanks! Mrs speed, for the kind comment!

    whitechrisf1 April 14, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    HEY, I’M WEIRD!!!!

    coolcatteacher April 15, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    Me too! ;-)

    Comments are closed.

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    Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere