In other articles, I’ve alluded to what I call “The Fabric”. Capitalized. The Fabric is nearly indescribable, yet it is in evidence all around us, in us, and through our lives. It is the set in the background against which the movie of our life plays.

So what?

The Fabric is important to understand because we cannot escape it. It is always there, omnipresent, in many ways dictating what is and is not possible in our careers, classrooms, and lives. It is so pervasive that we cannot even understand any concept that is outside of the fabric. It is the background hum of our existence.

fabricHow Did This Fabric Get Here?

Your Fabric is not my Fabric. They are similar in many ways; they run through and inform each other; they subtly influence each others’ pattern. Yet each person has a different Fabric. A Fabric that they have woven since early childhood.

The threads of the Fabric are core beliefs. Things you know about right and wrong, good and bad, what is real and what is imaginary. These threads were given to you at a young age by your parents, your teachers, your church, mosque, or synagogue, your peers, your television set, your country… everything that surrounded you as you grew up. As time moved on, some threads would collapse and disappear, and new ones would weave into their place. Some threads would merge while some threads would annihilate each other. But this Fabric that you have constantly been weaving since the day you were born is with you still, and is still changing and evolving.

The Fabric is a living, changing entity.


Most humans are unaware of the Fabric. They see things through their own perspective and assume that the world is simply that way. Other opinions need not apply.

Awareness of the Fabric is the first step in understanding and utilizing its power.

So, What Does This Have to Do With Teaching?

You carry your Fabric everywhere you are. Your Fabric is constantly influencing and being influenced by all the other Fabrics with which it comes in contact.

So, think about it for a minute.

As a teacher, who do you spend most of your day with?

And doesn’t it seem logical that certain types of Fabrics would lend themselves better to the job of teaching?

Here is where your homework lies: what threads, what beliefs, what experiences… what Fabric would be the most effective in your classroom?

And now that you have begun to identify your threads, what pattern is your Fabric creating? Is it inspiring? Creative? Motivating? Purposeful?

As I said in a previous article, your Fabric is the intersection of who you are being in any given moment with the strength of your foundational competencies; it is created with the thread of your experiences and beliefs.

I urge you to reflect on your Fabric and how it interacts with your world of teaching. Just become aware of how it is interacting and influencing.

And, armed with that knowledge, I challenge you to make your Fabric better.yourstory

7 thoughts on “The Fabric

  1. Nathalie says:

    Hi Rick! I love your post. And I think you can use the knowledge about your Fabric in many other situations, too. Actually, it’s helpful eveywhere. I’ll definitely try and some self-reflection later today.

  2. Carol says:

    Rick – I love the analogy of Fabric.  It’s an interesting approach to looking at who you are at your core and how you show up in the world.  Thanks for the new approach.

  3. Denise Marie says:

    Hi Rick, I love your article and the analogy of your “Fabric.”  In my business I find myself diving deep on who I am so that I can give my followers and clients better information, services and products. Understanding who I am is the key to your daily presentation and how you want to be  remembered.

  4. april says:

    very interesting post, rick. i like your concept of the Fabric of our lives. in my wellness coaching practice, i help women recovering from eating disorders discover their true essence in order to better understand and more fully enjoy their lives and themselves. different terminology, but similar ideas. thank you for your fresh perspective!

  5. Jessica Sweet says:

    Rick, this is a great way to think about who we are and what we bring when we “show up” in the world. I work with people who are trying to find work that feels more like a calling, and of course the work we do to get there is much less about the job market and much more about the “fabric” of each individual client I work with. I like this analogy and I’ll probably borrow it to use with my clients!


  6. Eva says:

    Love the challenge to rethink how we are see ourselves and the world…to be more empowering.  That changes everything! Thanks Rick.

  7. Pam Norton says:

    The concept of the Fabric is new to me.  Thank you for such great insights.


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