Systems Normal

Two days into the new semester, I am actually feeling okay. I can’t say I feel more experienced or wiser. The kids are still their rambunctious, impossible selves. I’m still making mistakes all the time. I’m fairly sure I had days like this last quarter. Two things have changed, though. First and most significant is that I don’t have a solid wall of weeks full of days like these (or worse–often worse). It was hard to go so long without a good break.

Second is that I’m doing my best to have a new attitude. I go in knowing that some things will be unbelievably bad, but if I don’t let it get to me, I will be okay. The kids make fun of me, and I let it roll off my back. I make a big mistake, and I just keep on doing what I can. I know I’m not a good teacher yet; I’m still trying to maintain adequacy. I haven’t given up, though, and that is grace.

I also know that I need to record this so that when (not if) the bad days return, I have something to remind me that it genuinely isn’t always so bad.


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My first year, I was not a good teacher. I wouldn’t say I was even quite an adequate teacher. But I realized — about this time last year — that I am not the last teacher my kids were ever going to have. Even if I was, my best at the moment was all I could do anyway. This year is better, but I still have days (I suspect this will be one) when I feel I have barely “passed” as a teacher.

It seems we’re human after all.

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