I’m not satisfied with the way my teaching went today. As occasionally happens, I fell into some moments of foolishness during the classes, which never fails to disappoint me. I said some things that I can only categorize as “silly”. The comments were not necessary, were not beneficial in any way, and simply didn’t need to be said. They were the kind of off-the-cuff remarks we make when we’re with friends in an informal situation, but surely not the kind I should be making when I’m trying to do the serious and taxing work of teaching. The comments weren’t hurtful, just ludicrous – a quality I definitely don’t need in my teaching. Young people need teachers who are leaders rather than comedians, thoughtful guides rather than impulsive clowns. I’ve always thought prudence is a vital quality in good teaching, and today I wasn’t prudent. I wasn’t careful about my conduct. I wasn’t circumspect – didn’t “stop, look, and listen” before I spoke. Most kids have a terrible time developing a sense of prudence in their lives, and it is my job, as one of their teachers, to model that virtue in my own life. Today I was reckless rather than prudent. Without thinking, I made some inane remarks that did nothing but get us momentarily off the track of our lesson. Tomorrow’s another day, thank goodness. Tomorrow, the green light will be off for me. I will keep the blinking caution light on throughout my classes.