Bouncing Back

Just like my students, sometimes I can be a little slow to wrap my head around a concept. And just like my students sometimes a sudden breakthrough happens, and the proper perspective snaps into place. After a few days of wallowing in my informal observation gone wrong, I finally snapped out of it today.

I had a few obvious but nonetheless helpful epiphanies. First, that I had originally agreed with my principal's points. In fact, I had anticipated most of her criticism. So then why was I haven't such a hard time accepting it? Simple: my ego. Coming to that pretty obvious conclusion helped me suck it up, and focus on using the feedback to do better.

Secondly, it dawned on me that I never have thought of myself as a perfect educator. In fact, I'm more than happy to focus on my own shortcomings as a teacher. So, if I know I'm not perfect, why was I so upset when someone else pointed out the obvious?

Finally I realized that my improvement as a teacher isn't about me. Again, it comes down to my ego. I want to be seen as a good teacher, or even one of the best teachers in my school. But I have to put my ego aside, because my performance as a teacher isn't about me, it's about my students. Why do I want to be a good teacher so badly? Because being a good teacher means I make a greater positive impact on my students. So if someone is offering me advice on how to help my students, it only makes sense to listen carefully and act on it. If I'm able to do take constructive criticism and use it to improve (and as motivation as well), then my students will be better off, and the accolades and recognition my ego needs will follow.


jonathan said…
It's both skill and art. And there will always be ways to make it better. And even when it's going well, there will be bad moments, bad lessons, bad weeks.

Are you performing, overall, reasonably? Do you have the capacity to get better? The desire?

Obviously the answer is yes to all 3. So you're allowed to beat yourself up about a lousy slump, but you're not allowed to forget that there is a longer haul. You are what, third year? Improving, intent on improving? From that perspective you're clearly doing fine.

Hang in there brother! You inspire me! And I have been doing this for awhile.

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