being a teacher, boring, inspiration, Lesson Planning, lessons learned

Today I was Boring

I love Mondays.  They are loud, a little bit crazy, and always exciting.  My students are tapping their feet, their are sharpening their pencils and asking a million questions about what we are doing this week and when are we going to get to do this really cool thing?  The noise can be kind of intimidating to cut through but then you realize that it is excitement, not just chatter, and it becomes a different beast to maneuver altogether.

Today, I was boring, though.  I had my lessons planned, even with discussion questions, extra surprises and movie clips.  And yet, I fell flat.  During social studies, where I was teaching the writing of the Constitution, I yawned.  And you know if the teacher is bored, then imagine what the students feel.  So I stopped.  I put the book down that I was reading aloud and then asked them what questions they had.  A little bit of perking up.  Then I asked them to write on the board everything they knew about the office of the president, some motion and activity.  Then I started to drone on again – moment lost.

I don’t know what it was today.  I had a long night with my daughter with croup, my mind is heavy with the scary legislation vote looming over us, and I didn’t take the time to think this morning.  I have a pretty set morning routine where I get in 1 hour and 15 min early, turn on my music, jam to that while I clean, pull out, discuss, give hugs to colleagues and just focus.  Today I had no music, ran around, got visited by students early, stopped by a great Valentines Day breakfast and just spoke a lot of politics  By the time the bell rang, I was ready physically not mentally.

And what a difference that makes!  All day I played catch up, tried to find my brain – it must be around somewhere – and just made it through.  That is not what teaching is supposed to be like; surviving.  So I wonder; what do others do when the lesson isn’t working?  Do you throw it out?  Stop and do something else entirely or just lumber through it?  I felt I robbed a great moment in history from my students today, something that I cannot get back.  So when your brain disappears and the day just seems to happen to you, what do you do to put it back on track?

I, for one, am going to bed early, charging my Ipod, getting my red shirt ready (all union workers are wearing red to show unity this week) and packing chocolate in my lunch tomorrow.  I will not let my students down like this again.

7 thoughts on “Today I was Boring”

  1. You are not perfect. Life is not perfect and every day is not going to be the best. You are a real human being. You had your own needs. Give yourself a break. Some days are going to be this way. The kids will survive.

  2. It happens to all of us! Everyone has off days. Don't let it get you down – and do realize it will happen again. Your kids won't love you any less. It'll only show them that you are human, and that in itself is very important.

  3. Everyone has those days. What distinguishes you is that you chose to reflect on the moment and figure out what you could do differently. Great teachers reflect and change. Thanks for sharing your day.

  4. My off days happen when I'm overwhelmed/stressed/not well planned/exhausted. All of the above? Plus I think Mondays are hard because you have to get back into the rhythm. When I have a bad day I reflect on it, tighten up my plans, and try to get a little extra sleep.

  5. Mondays, especially Mondays after a long winter and on a holiday, are often difficult. I too, found myself wondering should I keep going or lumber on today? I chose to lumber on and tried to focus on the present moment because sometimes I find myself getting too wrapped up in thinking about the way it is going and not what is going on at the present. Then, like you, I think about why the day was this way, and I get ready for the next. Yesterday I had to teach an after school club after the day like that and then stay and plan for the next after school club. It was 5:00 and I could have either gone back to my classroom that was not ready for tomorrow or go to yoga. I went to yoga and I am glad I did. Today is another day.

  6. Chocolate is good (dark stuff with lots of cocoa though – much better zing than sugar!), and sleep is essential. I sometimes find that the planning is my downfall though – too much rather than too little! If I have it all planned out then my focus is on delivering that, whereas when my planning is a little shaky then I pay more attention to my students and their interests/understanding, and ignore what was on my PowerPoint.

  7. Today I was teaching a music class to very young kids and started structuring who got what instrument and how we would go about trading them to avoid arguments and wasting time. Part way through I stopped and thought, you know what this is unnecessary, I'm going to let them do it their way; if the whole thing becomes a chaotic mess they can figure out what guidelines we should set, if it doesn't I've saved them an unnecessary lecture.Sometimes you just have to stop what you're doing and change direction.

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