Mistakes Are Proof That You Are Trying

My blog has apparently decided not to publish any of the posts I have written for the past two weeks….So much has happened, and so much has been going on, that at times I feel as though my brain will explode. It’s nearing the end of my practicum experience, and it makes me happy in one way, but sad in another. Happy because I will finally be able to get some sleep, and relax. Sad, because I’ve grown to love the kids I’m working with, with all their quirks, attitude, jokes, and earnest questions. I will truly miss them, but I plan to hopefully come back and visit.

I had my second observation on Tuesday, and it was quite depressing. I had planned out my lesson to a T, used several resources, planned activities, etc, but still, I got blank stares. I was discouraged, and upset with myself for not getting my message across to the kids. It was already difficult for me to plan a Math lesson, which I haven’t formally studied since graduating high school, but to have to find a way to format my speech from professorial and university level down to something 10 and 11 year old kids would understand is SO hard. Harder than I thought. I can’t get my tone right, and even though I have positives from my feedback, I still felt terrible. I felt like I let the kids down, and after 5 weeks, I would have hoped that my delivery of a lesson would have been a lot smoother. I burst into tears at the end of the day, and nearly went home. But, after a chat with my CT, who told me that even seasoned teachers have days like the one I had, I felt better. Better enough to teach the Math tutorial that happens every Tuesday after school. I regrouped, chunked my instructions, and really tried to go down to their level and, it WORKED. The tutorial went smoothly, the kids that were there actually understood the material, and I went home feeling good about myself.

This morning, I taught a review lesson for the rest of the class, and used the same strategies that I used for the Math tutorial, and again, the students understood. We played a number game, they did some informal assessment for me, and they went home (hopefully) understanding the lesson. I learned that it’s ok to make mistakes, but that it’s also necessary to learn from them.