As I watched my Yr3’s in their summative write for the School Fair I found myself thinking “I should have done more..” I should have done more formative feedback in writing, I could have provided more support prior to the interactive oral, we could have taken more time…” Have you ever found yourself in this position? That it could have, should of, had to have been better? I have that a lot. It comes when I forget something in the plan, when an activity isn’t going well, or at the end of a unit when I look back at how it went. It comes when I am tired, it comes when I read inspiring blogs and it comes in the middle of the night when I wake up, start thinking of school and can’t get back to sleep.
There are some in my school who mistakenly think I am some sort of ‘super teacher’. That what I do in my class is so great it is intimidating to them. I am flabbergasted when I hear that. Many days I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants. There are days when the lessons aren’t so great, when I am tired, when I’m not inspired and when it just goes sideways. There are days when students in my class might even be – okay – are bored.
How do you deal with the doubt, the stress, the ‘it wasn’t good enough?’. How do you work to implement change and yet keep a hold on your own health? In a recent #langchat someone mentioned ‘time’. And yes – they are on to something. I think you need to think about ‘time’. The fact that ‘time’ is lacking for many of us. That we could, if we could, spend unlimited time on the ‘quest’ for the perfect lesson.
When the doubt comes, when the lesson bombs, when you think about what you ‘could’ have done I encourage you to take a step back. What were you doing when you weren’t ‘improving and innovating’? What were you doing with your time? Were you taking a walk, talking with a loved one, watching something fun, surfing the net? Because that time is important too. For me I have to be rested, to be engaged in “my” world to have the time to be innovative. I have to be rested to have the energy. I have to be expanding my own horizons in order to work to expand my students’.
Change is hard. It’s necessary and its vital and it keeps my head in the ‘teaching game’. Without it I would have given up on this 20 year career long ago. But I am learning to ‘take my time’. Yes that unit could have been better. Yes I might have tried something different. Yes – it’s a long slow walk to try to be better and NO it will never be perfect.
So, as we approach some time off – I encourage you to take time for yourself….it’s an investment that will pay off in your classroom in the future…