So when students started asking questions, there I stood with a choice to make; do I admit my faults or do I pretend that I know what i am talking about. I swallowed my pride and admitted it,”Sorry, but I have to figure this out first before I teach it to you.” The kids went quiet. “I don’t want to teach it to you because I will teach it wrong, so let’s get back to it tomorrow when I have had some time.” Then the kids sighed in relief. “Good Mrs. Ripp, because I was really confused…” and the energy immediately returned to the room.
After school today, I sought out a colleague and I asked them to walk me through it and explain it like they did to the students since the book just wasn’t clicking for me. And as he patiently explained it, I realized once again how our students must feel when something doesn’t make sense. I realized how important it is for us to figure our curriculum out before we teach it to students. I realized how crucial it is for us to admit when we simply don’t know.
Sure my lesson tomorrow just a got a little more crowded, but in the end, it is worth it. I didn’t wing it, I didn’t fake it, I presented it as a true learning moment in which the teacher didn’t know, and then I figured out how I would learn it myself. In the end, when I admitted my fault, I learned more, and that lesson is something worth passing on.