I’ve had a few observations lately. One was from a student preparing to be a teacher. It made me think…
What is the best advice I can give her? What is one thing I wish someone would have told me when I first started teaching?
Then (when my computer – which was connected to the projector and powering our lesson- restarted in the middle of the class) it hit me!
No lesson is perfect!
No class runs exactly as planned.
Learn to be flexible!
I’ve heard people say things like … “After the first year, it is EASY!”
Ha-Ha. (laugh to keep from crying)
It wasn’t that way for me… there are always factors that require us to change, adapt, or rethink what we do in the classroom. For me, I spent 2 years figuring out how to work outside of the textbook. Then I got iPads and had to sort of re-plan everything! My students blogged for a year and then private and safe Edmodo was born. The quicker we can learn to “roll with the punches” the easier it gets! I started keeping track of all the “x factors” that cause my “perfect” lessons to not go as planned…
Now this wasn’t all in one day. Good thing! I would have never survived! There are a lot of things that are outside of a teacher’s control. We can only plan for what we do know and control how we react to each day!
What I am trying to say is this:
If you have a goal and are working to help your students reach it and are striving to be a little better each day…
You are on the right track!
I know the job can be hard and I’ve heard a lot of teachers say they feel frustrated and a little beat up after a tough day. Keep your head up and know you don’t have to be PERFECT! No one is! Just be FLEXIBLE and get a little better each day.
Thanks, Megan. So often I think it’s just me, that nobody else has a computer that hates them, an Epson overhead that dies, field trips that empty out your class…. You really cheer us up!
You’re great, Ivonne! You’ve helped me a bunch – and saved me a time or two! Keep doing great things in the classroom! Love it when you “dress up” for them!
Thank you Megan! Perfection is boring anyway. Some of the best classes I’ve ever had were complete improvisations. That being said, I always have a bag of back up tricks should the internet go down or YouTube decide it hates me. Sometimes I’ll do a mini-TPRS story – the kids have fun with it and they still get something out of the lesson. I usually overplan anyway, so there’s always something for them to do. When I run out of stuff to do with 5 minutes, I have them get their reflection journals (which they leave in my room) to reflect on the day’s lesson. I usually have them write 2 things they learned or achieved a deeper understanding of, what they liked and disliked about the day’s activities and why, and how they are feeling overall about the topic.
I love the reflection journals to capitalize on a few extra minutes! Neat to go back and read at the end of the year too!
Hello. I am a teacher candidate in a graduate program. Although, nothing is perfect in the real world, it is refreshing to hear your strategies to keep the learning momentum going. I will definitely make a note to come up with my own bag of tricks for those times. I love your reflection journal idea. That is a must!!!!
Thanks to Megan too.
This made me think back to my days as a high school student. I was out of class a lot for all the activities I participated in, but my teachers would just tell me to “finish the worksheet.” Teaching has changed so much! It’s not just sit and get anymore.
Exactly! There’s no wrong way to pass out a worksheet! TEACHING is the challenge!
I think it’s really important to listen to the kids. A comment I got a lot was that I plan too much for a class period and they don’t feel like they can ponder. It’s VERY hard for me to slow down but I have to.
Great thing for all of us to remember! It’s not about teaching. It’s all about LEARNING!
Thanks for this. I needed it this morning!
Just what I needed to hear at 36 weeks pregnant and feeling as if I’m just keeping my head above water!
You must be Superwoman! Awesome for kids to see you working and raising a family! You can do it!
Thank you so much for this post! We are always so hard on ourselves! We often focus on what goes wrong, rather than celebrating all that we do so well! I know that that was ALWAYS my problem and sometimes still is!!!
Thank YOU, Helena! I’ve been inspired and excited by lots of your ideas! They don’t always go perfectly but I’m getting a little better each time!
Thank you for this. I am a student teacher (who loves and appreciates your blog!) and am constantly trying to remind myself that every minute of every lesson doesn’t have to be perfect! It’s a continual learning process which makes it difficult, but interesting. Thanks for the reminder that even veteran teachers aren’t perfect! Sometimes I forget that. 🙂
Thanks for your comment! You’re going to love having your own classroom! Doesn’t have to be perfect! Learning is messy sometimes 🙂 (I need to post that on my door!)
THANK YOU. JUST, thank you.