What I Tell Myself After a Bad Lesson




27 thoughts on “What I Tell Myself After a Bad Lesson

  1. Can’t wait to hear from all the non-teachers about this post. Oh, wait: they won’t have anything to say about the actual job of teaching: just how to “fix” schools and education with ‘choice.’

    1. I’m glad you said that. I recently went on a school camp. I noticed 2 female teachers bullying male students (very common today). There were 8 stragglers, 4 boys and 4 girls, who were late for a walk. The worst offending female teacher said “why is it always the boys?” I politely looked in the direction of the girls and received a polite “hmpf” in response. One of the older female teachers gave me a nod of approval.

      So yeah, you’re right. As a parent (rather than a teacher), I added nothing. These female teachers were educating all of these 8 kids on prejudice, sexism, discrimination and political correctness.

      I’ve also volunteered my time on several occasions to run classes, well enough that I was asked to come back quite a few times.

      I’ll also add scout leaders (who teach). Parents who teach. But, it’s only that piece of paper that counts!

      Some teachers are loved by parents and students, some disliked. Some are respected and some not. I wonder what makes the difference?

      1. @Nyota: nice screen name.

        1) My comment was specifically aimed at a small set of people who weighed in on the previious post here. If you weren’t part of that, it doesn’t apply to you.

        2) Nowhere have I ever suggested, let alone stated, that all teachers (or ANY teacher) is beyond improvement. But note well that giving productive feedback to teachers is itself a skill that must be mastered. I do it for a living and would like another 15 years to prepare myself to do it more effectively. Your skills may be a gift from God. I’m envious.

        3) If it’s fine for parents to level criticism at teachers, then I’m sure that as a parent, you have no problem being criticized by teachers for your parenting.

        4) Criticizing specific instances of poor teaching is a far cry from proposing wholesale deform of public education in the name of “choice” and the free market. There are things like the role of free non-profit public education in the functioning of a democracy that trump (no pun intended) free-market and predatory capitalism.

        1. Hey Michael, I always enjoy reading your comments! But I think the ventures into sarcasm don’t really make for the best discussion.

  2. First time commenter, longer term follower. Thanks for this post. I had one last week. Pin drop after instructions and then outbreak of confusion. Sigh. Whoops. Lesson made PERFECT sense to me… Regroup overnight and try again the next day.

  3. But what if you’re still having these moments when you’re only a few years from retirement? The remaining students are then not so outnumbered by future students …

    1. If you participate in conversations with colleagues and with current or future teachers after you retire, they will have a chance to learn from your insights and countless students will benefit thereby.

  4. I think it was very brave to share this. There is a lot of pressure on teachers and it’s a good reminder that y’all are just as human as the kids, as the parents, as everyone else. A good reminder to everyone else, that is. You guys already knew it 😉

  5. Teachers really are people, too, no matter what children (and sometimes their parents, who should know better) think.

  6. This is a good professional attitude to have! It doesn’t help me with my one student I’m homeschooling, but is a good reminder when dealing with my professional clients in another field, for sure!

  7. I thought the post was great. Sketched reflection, visuals are always powerful! What a wonderful teacher to be able to be so honest in their self assessment. I read the comments too and I am noticing that there is a real disconnect between educators and parents… This often appears as blame and a competition to see who has it harder! I get it, I get it from both sides! I feel for the educator who is struggling to make sense of all the huge demands (often set by a political agenda) and I feel for the parents who are also stretched to the limit, desperate for more connection and time with their kids but having to work all the hours they can (often in unstable employment). It’s really tough for everybody and I just wish we could all feel more for each other, have more empathy and be kinder. These online spats ( that are everywhere) just fuel the negative and I fear the children pay the heavy price.

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