SOL Tuesday ’18 My Bad

I said yes.

I agreed that I would appear on the podcast and describe a mistake I’ve made in my teaching career.

I have made mistakes. for sure.

Many mistakes were made. for sure.

But what am I going to talk about? Publicly.

I’m drawing a blank. I’m already nervous that I simply won’t know what to say.

I have yelled at kids. I have shamed individual children. I have nearly missed a class because I got confused about my schedule. I have abandoned my plan and let the kids play what they wanted to play. I have been stingy with praise. I have gotten stuck on one or two negatives and let those carry the day. I have been dressed down by a parent about a report card comment I wrote that they felt was too negative. I have been inconsistent and unfair on some days. I have cut class 3 minutes short because I was tired.

So plenty of bads. Plenty.

But I also know that I have apologized to students when I was angry and my behavior was poor. I let kids know that they are valued and worthy. I do love what I get to do. I get to see a lot of smiles. Most children are eager to get to my class. I have had bad days, bad lessons but never a completely bad week or bad year. There’s always recovery and bouncing back and kindness that appears when I least expect it.

The host emphasized being vulnerable. I think I may be good at that.

My bad.

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6 thoughts on “SOL Tuesday ’18 My Bad

  1. Oh how I love this post! I totally relate. We teachers work so hard and can make so many mistakes…because the work is so hard and so human. One of my “bad” happened when I was new to teaching third grade (not a new teacher but switched grade levels). My children were really young- 3 and 1 and I was exhausted. I used to get up at 2am and work until 3:30 am then go back to sleep for a couple of hours. During one of those early morning sessions, I graded a student’s paper. It was a timed math test and the student barely got one correct. I wrote “Yikes!” on the top of her paper. How dumb and hurtful. The parent complained to the principal and a whole year of building positive relationships was damaged because of that stupid moment. I was so ashamed. Ever since then, I have stopped working in the middle of the night and been far more thoughtful about the things I say to children about their work. Thanks for sharing your own moments of “bad” and your vulnerability.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh – good luck! I love that you are willing to talk about mistakes. Too often we don’t share this part of our career & I think we lose something, especially because I am always telling the kids to take risks, to be ok with failure… and then, well, I have to share my own – and I have to be willing to make mistakes. Your willingness to talk about mistakes (and successes that come from those) will help many teachers. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did it! And it really wasn’t too bad. The host was encouraging and understanding in his responses so that made it a whole lot easier to describe the situation: shaming a child in front of the class. I’ll share it when it’s out. It’s a mercifully short broadcast 10-12 minutes! thanks for the good wishes. They worked!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Talking about mistakes is so hard! Not that there aren’t plenty of them to choose from…. but which to talk about? Since I teach pre-service teachers, I talk about mistakes A LOT, and luckily, my first couple of years of teaching high school furnished me with sooooo many. Sometimes I tell them, “I’ll tell you this story, but you cannot blog or tweet about it!” LOL. Nothing that happens in the classroom is truly private anymore! The only times I truly regret, though, are the times I shamed a student or wasn’t kind. I wish I had always known that kindness is my one non-negotiable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my goals this year is to focus on the positives and highlight successes large and small rather than getting caught up on negative distractions. Even plan to put up anchor phrases to remind me and the students about this work in progress (i.e., “I notice that …” and “Thank you for….”). Even being kind needs help sometimes.

      Like

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