Sunday, August 5, 2007

Teaching: Take Two

This first week of school has shown me that I have to do things at least twice before I can get them right. I'm not sure if that is a sign that I am constantly learning as a teacher or a sign that I don't think about things enough ahead of time. Either way, I feel bad for the group of students who have to be the guinea pigs.

Of course, maybe even the second time isn't really 'right'. Maybe it's just better than the first time. Do all teachers second-guess themselves this much?

In a related thought, I'm noticing that many of most successful activities, lessons, moments in my classroom are unplanned. Either I have great luck, good instincts, or both. But it brings me back to wondering if I don't think about things enough ahead of time. If I did a better job planning, would I manage to have even more of these moments?

1 comment:

organized chaos said...

I've always wondered the same thing. My best lessons were always the ones I came up with on the spot, and my worst were the ones that I over-planned. Maybe when we're being spontaneous we're responding to the students' needs at that moment in time, and when we overplan we're really only looking at our needs, or the SOL needs.
Kind of like that quote 'teach the students you have, not the students you use to have and not the students you would like to have'.

and I am a huge second-guesser as well. Part of why I think I'm changing up my job description this year is that last year I second-guessed myself into doubting my ability to be an educator. Constantly learning is a great thing, but there is that fine line between learning/reflecting and being a crippling perfectionist.