Three Reasons I Tell Myself I Suck
How many times can I possibly tell myself this in one day? I mean, seriously. The kids make a bad choice: "I suck." They do poorly on a test: "I suck." A parent questions my lessons or a decision that I make: "I suck." My principal observes me and gives me a 'Needs Improvement" mark on the rubric that I really should improve: "I SUPER suck."
Seriously... these last few days, I could crawl into bed and go to sleep and not wake up until March for all of the negative self-talk that I have been doing. It was so hard to go to work today. As the kids walked in, I took a deep breath, looked at the clock and thought to myself, "6 hours. You only have 6 more hours."
So, with such a dismal start to my week, I thought I would share the top 3 reasons I am a sucky teacher:
1. I love my kids so much, it hurts.
Since I started teaching, I have told my kids on day one that they are MY KIDS. Whether they love me or not, that is up to them, but for the next 180 days, they are mine and I love them no matter what they do. Because of that, they hurt my feelings, I take their decisions personally, and I think about them all the time. How can they annoy me so much, yet fill my heart so full? Because they are humans and so am I. I freaking love those little stinkers.
2. I don't stay late or come in on weekends to work on anything. And I don't work from home either... at least, not often.
For some teachers, this throws me into the deep end of the suck-pool. "How can you possibly be a good teacher if you don't work on school all the time?" Well, my answer for you is this: I do what needs to be done to help my students reach their full potential. I use the data I have, we work, I help them, they go home, and I go home. I treat teaching like the job that it is. A job. It is not my life. Therefore, when I go to school, I am fully there and when I leave, I am fully gone. Are there some nights that I work on school. Of course. But they are few.
3. I know I can do better, but sometimes I don't.
Over the last few years, I have started to cut myself some slack to know that yes, I could have taught that lesson better, but I didn't. Better luck next time. I have, instead, focused my efforts on making lessons short, sweet, to the point and then, I am out of their faces. They don't want to listen to me talk, and quite frankly, neither do I. I used to plan elaborate lessons... that lasted a 1/2 hour and bored most kids to tears. Man, were they 'perfect'. Enough to wow anyone who was lucky enough to be in my teaching presence. (Pardon me while I puke in my mouth a little.) Those days are over and my kids are doing better for it.
Bottom line, I really don't think I suck all the time. And if anyone says that I do, I'll consider their opinion and their reasons for why they believe it as truth. Maybe I'll make some changes. Maybe I won't. I do the best that I can, with the resources and time that I am given. I try to do what they tell me, but I'm not perfect. Man... that feels good to say. I'm. Not. Perfect.
Tomorrow will be a better day and I will continue to burn on.