I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘reflective practitioner’ quite often. After all, how are we to become better teachers if we do not reflect on what we do?
The truth is, there is not a single day I drive home without questioning some of my teaching strategies and/or approaches. I feel that sometimes I am REALLY hard on myself and go from reflecting to: Am I qualified/competent to teach? And…there you have it. I am letting one event, lesson, approach be the defining factor of whether I should continue in the education field or not (quite drastic I know).
When I was in my ‘own’ classroom (and I mean ‘own’ because I was the only teacher), I felt like if I did something wrong, I could just pick up and move on the following day. Now, I am in a complete different situation: I teach in a team model (there are 3 of us for 2 classrooms). I love it. It keeps you going and learning at lightning speed, but also when I do something wrong, I feel that I have let not only my students down but my team as well.
While I have learned to ASK for help and to recognize that….all lessons do not go great, it is still a rough learning curve. I am the one always telling my students: ‘Mistakes are opportunities.’ Yeah…it even sounds poetic, but not so ‘cool’ after all.
Being outside your comfort zone and/or trying things you know you are not as ‘good’ at are really pushing me as an educator (and as a person as well). So, after a rough day – a day full of mistakes, questions and challenges I try to remind myself that questioning my teaching is not so bad because:
1- It means I am looking back, thinking about what I did and brainstorming about how I can do it better next time
2- It keeps me grounded. I am not a super-hero or a super-teacher. It reminds me of why being humble is important
3-I am learner and I just as any other learner out there…mistakes will happen. It is what you do after making those mistakes that define who you are
Teaching is rough (but I still would not see myself doing anything else…most of the time at least).