We are six weeks in and I am supposed to know my students. Six weeks in and I am supposed to be the teacher they need, be able to create lessons that will challenge each one. Six weeks in and soon the quarter will be over and everything I had dreamed about us doing is supposed to have come true. Yet it hasn’t, and I know that the fault lies with me.
I am feeling like a bad day kind of teacher tonight. Like I have somehow failed in my quest to be a great one. Like those things that we have done have not been deep enough, challenging enough, enough enough. And now I have 2 weeks to pick up the pieces and make something out of it.
Yet, as I left today I spoke to a colleague I greatly admire and I told her how I feel like I have been doing everything wrong so far this year, like I have no idea what I am doing in 7th grade. When I told her how I feel like I am failing these kids and that tonight I needed to figure out how to fix what I broke, she told me what I will pass on to you now…
“It is not that it is broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed, it simply needs to be made better.”
And that’s it really. Because it is too easy to give up and say I failed. It is too easy to say that it is over and there is nothing I can do. But that’s not the truth, because every day we have a chance to make it better. Every day we have a chance to make it work. And when we have our bad days, we do not judge ourselves by those, but instead on how we pick ourselves up and do something about it. Because even the greatest teachers don’t know it all. Even the greatest teachers feel like they need to change. And that is part of what makes them great; knowing that there are days when it just wont work.
So when you feel like a bad day kind of teacher, don’t feel like it is all too late. It’s not. Just look at tomorrow and make tomorrow better. And that’s what I plan to do myself.
If you like what you read here, consider reading my book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. The 2nd edition and actual book-book (not just e-book!) just came out!