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Even the Best Teachers Have the Worst Days
posted by: Melissa | January 13, 2015, 07:00 PM   

Ever have one of those days in the classroom where nothing goes right? Starr Sackstein blogged over at Education Week’s Work in Progress Blog about just those types of days.  She says:


We are all human and teaching is an extremely challenging job.

No one would dispute that.

That isn't to say, those of us who are passionate about what we do don't love the thrill of challenge, but even with that love comes frustration.

When teachers are dealing with so many personalities all the time, as well as trying to manage their lives outside of work, bad days can happen.


So what should we do when we have one of those days?  Later on, Sackstein gives us some tips:

Here are some
tips for turning bad times into better ones:

  • Apologize promptly. If you raise your voice or say something that is uncharacteristic, say you're sorry. Do it publicly and allow students to see that grown-ups make mistakes and as long as they are handled appropriately, it will be okay.
  • Don't beat up on yourself when a lesson goes sour. They can't all be winners. Take the time to reflect and figure out why it didn't work out and do better next period or the next day.
  • Remember that tomorrow is always a new day. Start fresh. Give second chances not only to your students each day, but to yourself as well.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break from other duties that distract from your teaching. It will all get done, it just may not get done right now.
  • Accept help when it's offered. People can read your hard time, so don't be ashamed or afraid to accept help when close friends or colleagues ask.
  • Ask for help when you need it. None of us are working alone and many folks are there for you as long as you ask. Believe it or not, students are really good at being empathetic if we let them be.
  • Do better tomorrow. Acknowledge the bad day and move on as quickly as possible. Getting into a rut and repeating these behaviors can be seriously detrimental to your relationships with kids and your job.

Showing students our human side is essential for developing relationships. Although they may not believe that we have lives outside of school, most of them can identify with the inherent challenges life provides. It can be a very valuable learning experience for everyone if we model how to bounce back from these setbacks.

We are all allowed to have challenges but being honest and reflective about them is essential to minimizing the damage of a bad day.


So yes, we have bad days, but the important thing is to remember that we can make ourselves into a better teacher.  You can read the entire blog over at Education Week.


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