How to Protect Your Work from Insecure Teachers

Ahhh! My first ever piece of writing published by someone else – SCARY!

This is real now. This article is not on my domain which means I officially *can’t* edit or remove it whenever I want. Leah K Stewart is now ‘out there’ in the world…


The actual world won’t read it because I’m very unknown and this isn’t very good but, it’s a start.

Here’s where things get even more hold-your-breath scary…

There’s a good chance this got accepted into the Huffington because I’d referenced the Oscars, which had just happened, and this teacher tweet:


Blunt Educator is really funny, I’m a big fan of his tweets. He’s also got a massive, loyal following… and my article is essentially talking back to his tweet. Yup. Am I mad?

If any of my family had known I was trying to publish this, they’d have stopped me. 

In a moment of clarity I made the article vague enough to not require a link to the actual tweet. The tweet was inspiration for my thoughts which became an article; this isn’t an attack.

And yet, not wanting to talk about anyone behind their back, I send Blunt Educator a message to show him the article…


So far, so good. This really firmed up my believe that people who express themselves online know how it feels to do that, so won’t shout at others who are trying.

He even tweeted a link to my article! Super :D



And then…

And then:

Oh no, I’m not a hater. I’m sure we’d get on really well if we talked with each other.

And then…

Krissi even calls me a ‘he’…

WHAT to do?

EASY OPTION: hate myself for writing and having the audacity to publish something  that is probably kind of crap; first ever public article. By doing this I’m crushing creativity so I need to stop …and cry


HARD OPTION: suck it up, learn form this, smile at the comments (which didn’t include my twitter handle meaning I only saw them because I looked), move on and – keep creating

What would you do?

Here’s an extract of the article:

The morning after the 2015 Oscars I saw a tweet from a UK Head Teacher suggesting that if Lady Gaga and some students stopped doing ‘stupid stuff’ they can be great. This had been shared a couple of hundred times across the teaching community. It’s a funny comparison and I am a fan of the tweeter… but something about this one frustrated me.


Teachers may choose to inspire, mentor, guide or coach their students in their own unique way. This is how a teacher becomes an artist. But teachers who take it upon themselves to judge student work based on their own tastes are, and I’m putting this lightly, doing a disservice to their students, their community and this world. In the name of looking forwards, this is what I’d like to say…

Learning to differentiate between a friendly critic and a fearful skeptic might be one of life’s most valuable lessons. Listen to the friendly critic who knows something about your field and sees your potential. Their words are not to knock you down, but to improve your awareness so that you can build forwards. Talk with this person.

But sometimes you’ll happen to meet a fearful skeptic. This person thinks they have your best interest at heart by guiding you away from those things that light you up inside. Be sympathetic, because someone else probably did this to them a long time ago. This person might be your teacher who gives your work a ‘D’ for reasons you find completely irrelevant. Take your ‘D’ and thank them for their time. Your work is not for them. Go and find the people who light up when they see your work, the same way you do when you create it.

Perhaps a little openness about your restrictions would be wildly helpful. For example; “This has to be grade ‘C’ because the spelling is off and the points you make are not on-topic, so it doesn’t prove your understanding of the course material… but, listen, the insightfulness you show in this work and the courage you drew on to put this together transcends all grades. I’m excited to see how you take this forward. What’s your plan?”

Good luck students and teachers,
Leah xx

Cringe. Those kisses did go on the actual article. I was trying to show that this is all meant affectionately? Who knows. Anyway – got a piece in the Huffington. Onwards.