George was right. He told me I was crazy to think that I could write a blog post for everyday I taught. I should just know that he will be right when it comes to anything related to social media/twitter/technology. Last night was an especially busy night for me with my coaching commitments having me at the University from 5:30pm-11:15pm and teaching from 8:30am – 3:30pm. When I got home I was exhausted, and just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and reflect. The tank was empty, and I surrendered to the comfort of my bed.
Now this isn’t the end of the world, and I know that, but it did bother me. It was a lofty goal and I wasn’t able to achieve it, so part of me was upset. After 10 years in the classroom, the other part of me knew this was ok. Setting lofty goals and striving to achieve them is a great practice that benefits us even when we are unsuccessful. This is an important lesson for our students, and our newer teachers too.
Things are not always going to go well for us in what we do, but that doesn’t mean we should simply stop trying to achieve anything. As a new teacher, it is great to try new things, put together exciting and interesting lessons and to strive to be an amazing educator. In your first few years, in the midst of all that energy, enthusiasm and excitement, there will be lessons, projects or even entire days that don’t go as planned. So what do you do? Go to the safe and easy lesson, and give your students the same vanilla education that has been delivered for years? No, of course not, because you know what is right and you need to do what ever you can to provide your students with the best learning experiences you can create for them.
On our basketball team, we have a new motto for this season. “Next Play” is something we stole from a successful NCAA coach and its about what you do when you experience difficulty, or even failure. He preaches that his team’s focus must always be on the next play, and not whatever has just occurred. Because of this motto that his teams live every practice and game, you rarely see one of his players argue a call with a referee, or hang their head when they miss a shot. They know that the right thing to do for them and their teammates is to worry about the next play, and whatever they can do to help the team be successful in that next play.
So new teacher, or experienced teacher, we should always be focused on the “Next Lesson” when our plans end up falling flat. We should focus on the “Next Project” when the one we thought would inspire, bored our students into a near catatonic state. We should focus on the “Next Day” when we have rough day with our students, and need to come back strong for them and us. For me, I was focused on the “Next Blog Post”…and there it is.