It’s the time of the year when I begin some serious self-reflection.
I do this all throughout the school year; however, it is as the year is winding down, when I’m a little more relaxed, that things begin tugging at my heart.
How can I be a better teacher next year?
How can I ultimately grow as a person.
Today provided much food for thought.
The day started off when I woke up with the beginnings of a migraine brewing.
In addition, I’d been fighting a strained muscle in my back…injured sometime on Monday during my workout.
I didn’t call in sick. Writing sub lesson plans sucks, plain and simple.
All seemed to be okay…my first class progressed well until I attempted to begin the fun review I’d set up on Kahoot.It, a website I learned about during a recent technology conference.
The website started hanging up…or rather, my computer did. So did the Chrome Books that my students were using.
I quickly grew frustrated.
Anyone who knows me personally knows how much I love my technology. When it doesn’t work properly, I don’t exactly adjust well.
I was so disappointed because I’d planned a very interactive experience. It had turned into an epic fail that I was powerless to fix.
We wound up having a good review discussion despite the issues; my students made the change smoother than I’d expected.
Fourth period went exactly the same way.
I was not a happy camper.
By the time my 6th period class arrived, I was fit to be tied. I’d been unable to consistently access my email and school attendance/grading websites. I’d put in a Help Desk ticket, but things were still messed up.
I warned my students that I was grumpy but it wasn’t their fault. Still, a couple pushed some buttons, and I lost my temper.
It was not one of my finest moments, but I did what I usually do…admit to my deficiencies and apologize to my students.
I nearly broke down as I told them that I like my world to be orderly; that everything is usually planned out and that I struggle with going with the flow when things mess up my plans.
My students…this class that has been, in some ways, my toughest, extended grace in the sweetest way possible. They told me that it was okay…that I was only human.
How I loved them in that moment.
I made amends on a one-to-one basis…asked forgiveness via peppermint candies during a quiz that followed.
By the end of class, we were all laughing. All was well.
As I think about my day, I can’t help but make a list of things that need tweaking.
I want to be more laid-back.
I want to learn to go-with-the-flow, even when things get thrown at me unexpectedly and throw off my lesson plans.
I want to learn to be less emotional.
I want to be more discerning about the things that deserve to be attended to and the things that can be ignored or addressed with a simple raise of the eyebrow.
One might say I’m being hard on myself; however, I think that I’ll only grow if I look honestly at the areas where I struggle the most.
I am grateful for the raw honesty of my students. Sometimes it can be harsh; however, it’s always ringed with truth…a truth I need to be mature enough to use to benefit all of us and my future students.