Sunday, December 21, 2008

Settling For Being Just Okay

A zillion years ago, when I first began my teaching career, I wanted to be a great teacher. In fact, I wanted to be the best teacher ever. When my kids failed, I took it as a personal failure. Instead of blaming them, I blamed myself. I was depressed. I sat with my students. I asked them what I could have done differently to help them succeed. Mostly, I let them know that I really cared.

The majority of the students surprisingly never blamed me for their lack of success. I was always much harder on myself than they were on me.

As much as I wish I achieved my goal, I don't think I have. I'm an okay teacher, not terrible but there is nothing about me that makes me even near the best. In my old age, I've come to terms with that. I don't have the quietest classrooms in the school, I'm not as organized as I would like to be and I am definitely not nearly as smart as I am perceived to be.

I suppose it is okay to just be okay.


Anonymous said...

I also took it as a personal failure, but there was a time when test statistics showed growth, and if a student failed but still showed a good deal of growth, I knew that was a positive step for the student becoming successful in the future. But, the powers that be never look at the growth.


JUSTICE not "just us" said...

I feel the same as you but then I think: Hey, I am sober in front of these kids, I have a lesson plan and I listen to them. In a system as bad as ours I think that is more than enough!

Greetings and salutations from sunny and very hot Rio de Janeiro.