Monday, April 07, 2014

Not The Teacher I Want To Be

Today was an odd day for us. It was originally scheduled to be a teacher workday but that disappeared thanks to the insane winter we had. So kids were in school today. Not like a regular Monday though. For our elementary schools, the kids go home about two and a half hours early on Mondays. It's our districts way of ensuring elementary teachers get equal planning time to middle and high school teachers. However, we were making up a missed Wednesday, so we had a Wednesday schedule today, keeping kids in school the entire day.
A teacher down the hall was out today and her class is challenging, to say the least. The same special education teacher who works in my classroom also works in that classroom. In fact, she spends the great majority of her day in there. Today, she spent her entire day there.
I chatted with her in the middle of they day (I think she stopped by to apologize for not making it down to my room). She was pretty wiped already. Nothing like a substitute teacher, a completely different schedule from the norm, and a rainy day. Quite the trifecta.
At the end of the day when I saw her I congratulated her on surviving. Her comment to me was, "I did. I made it. I wasn't the teacher I wanted to be today, but I made it."
My response, "There are at least parts of every day when I'm not the teacher I want to be. Every day."
Today was, for me, a pretty darn good day. And yet. I have one student with whom I am never the teacher I want to be. That was true today. I can name several times when I lost patience with my students when it not only was unjustified, but also unproductive. 
I'm not proud of the fact that these moments happen everyday. But I also try not to dwell on them. I need to look at our days, with their ups and downs, reflect on them, and figure out the best path for us in the future. This includes the best path for me to be more and more of the teacher I want to be.
Cross-posted from