Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I know that I'm a terrible teacher and that's why I'm good

Rotten Apples in the Driveway
Rotten Apple

The past couple of days, I've had conversations with some friends about teaching. We shared our thoughts on how we feel like we are just bad teachers. We work so hard, but we feel like we are not getting through to all of the students. We think our lessons are not as good as they can be. We are constantly thinking of the "better way" that we could have handled a situation in the classroom. We question everything we do in and out of the classroom. We are as hard on ourselves as we could be. Harder than any administrator could be on any of us.

On the drive home, I was thinking about how terrible I was that day and it hit me. Maybe I'm not so bad. Every time I'm hard on myself, I'm reflecting on my teaching. I'm constantly thinking of ways to improve my lessons and my interactions in class. I connect with my peers and walk through the day to see what I missed. I collaborate in an attempt to improve my craft. I do all of this while talking about how terrible I feel.

I feel that a teacher needs to feel that they are a tad bit terrible to become better. If you think you are a perfect teacher, where do you grow? Is it possible to become a perfect teacher? I do not think so. I feel like I'm the best teacher I can be in the given circumstances. I always give everything I have into my lessons and my classes. Some days I will feel like that was not even close enough to what my kids deserve. That drive to make me better is something I can appreciate. It's ok to feel terrible if you use that as a driving force to become better. Being bad should not be a crutch, but a step stool.

For all of the terrible teachers out there, know that you are not alone. I'm terrible, but I'm good because of it.

For K and all of the other terrible teachers out there.