ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 130, Thursday, April 17, 2008
For some reason, the fact that I have made many mistakes as a teacher this year became unusually clear to me today. I've tried to pay attention to my mistakes on a daily basis throughout the year, but today the totality of them, the surprising weight of them, really sank in. It's been a great year for me in many ways, but it's also been a mistake-ridden year. I've been a fairly successful teacher, but it was abundantly obvious today that I've also been a flawed one. Oddly enough, however, I don't find this disheartening. In fact, it's rather an uplifting truth to realize that I made many mistakes, because that means I'll have the chance to make many corrections next year. Because I went down a few unfortunate paths this year, I can have the pleasure of searching for better ones next year. If I feel like a somewhat defective teacher today, that simply means I will have the opportunity to feel the excitement of being a reborn, brand-new teacher next year. In a very true sense, I should feel grateful to my many mistakes as a teacher this year, because they have thrown open the door to improvement. Mistakes mean growth, so I'll be growing a lot next year.
In one class today, there was less order and discipline than I like to see. The kids and I lost track, temporarily, of the importance of doing things in an orderly, efficient manner. There were times when all of us -- myself included -- were interrupting each other, raising our voices to be heard, and paying only scant attention to each other. It was a frenzied class, a disorderly jumble of half-cooked thoughts and half-heard words -- exactly the kind of class I hate.
Tomorrow will be much different -- guaranteed.