it seems like the overwhelming majority of conversation regarding ego seems to be focused around the ability a person may, or may not, have to ‘check it at the door’, Freud’s work not withstanding. i’ve been thinking about it all recently and trying to figure out a place where the ego and its prominent uses are necessary. i’m not coming up with much. Sports talk radio will tell you that in crunch time, at the end of the game a superstar should want the ball, so i guess that is about ego. after that i’m coming up empty. there are an endless list of places where ego doesn’t belong, the most important to my job would be the teacher and the gifted child. i’m fond of using the phrase ‘there will be a time in you lives as a teacher of the gifted where you will realize your student knows more than you, and you need to be ok with that’. it won’t (or shouldn’t) be the situation in everything you teach, but gifted children have gifts – how’s that for a profound statement? ha! does ego have any place in the classroom? or maybe it does – the most common definition of ego seems to center around conceit and self-importance and certainly we would shy away from this path, but when you look the word up you come to a later definition that simply deals with self-esteem and self-image. Do we run the risk of allowing students to craft a positive self image when we attempt to squelch “ego” in our classroom? how do we, as teachers, model positive self image and walk the line of conceit?
where does ego belong?