I HATE bombing a class. The cognitive dissonance between reality and how I like to think of myself as a teacher hurts.
But once my bruised ego has recovered, a pearl usually emerges. Either a lesson or a new idea.
On Fridays I like to plan something a bit lighter for my classes. It’s a pleasant way to end the week. Everyone is tired and not having to think through a rigorous lesson plan helps me.
Sometimes I show a video, or we have ‘Kindergarten Day’ where I bring in milk and cookies and read/talk through a kids’ picture book in French. Or we might play a game.
For French 8, I chose a video last Friday. The librarian at our school had sent out a website rich in videos across many contents. I showed a snippet of one the week before and had planned to view a new clip from the same series with my students and discuss it in French.
I didn’t preview the video and I should have.
It was boring.
I was bored and the kids were bored, but I soldiered on through it. Their faces and lack of engagement communicated total disinterest. I don’t blame them. But it was painful to me.
The class ended and another came in and there was no time to reflect until my drive home from school.
How I HATE that feeling of:
- wasting a class period
- disappointing my students
- failing to engage these young people
- learning that I’m not the ‘great’ teacher that I like to think I am
But the good news is this: with each of these ‘failures’ I’m acquiring the knowledge that out of these crash and burn classes, something good usually emerges.
This time, it wasn’t a new idea, but a renewed sense of commitment to planning quality classes (even on Fridays) with interesting, comprehensible input. I don’t want to waste precious few minutes with these students!
So, I’m looking and planning forward to this coming Friday. I have Kindergarten Day planned and I can’t fail with that.