Did Anyone Die? Keeping Things in Perspective

stress-391659_640By Kelly Korek – Yesterday was my big day – my first time teaching two different classes in the same day.  I came to school with my laptop full of Smart Board lessons, my bag full of worksheets, and a feeling of excitement as I prepared to take over both the classes. That excitement quickly disappeared once I hit my sixth hour pre-calculus class.

Let’s just say, almost every piece of technology that could have gone wrong did for me. When I tried to work out the answer for my “Do Now,” the Smart Board decided it was not going to let me write on it, so my cooperating teacher had to come find a fix for me. When it was finally fixed, I realized that the only thing I could now do on the board was write, so any mistakes or sloppy work had to be crossed out rather than erased. And to top it all off, one of the independent practice slides I had created had somehow disappeared between my prep and my class.

Of course, this all had to happen on my first day of feeling like a real teacher, so it is safe to say that I left school yesterday incredibly discouraged. I thought my lesson was a complete failure, and I was questioning how I was going to be able to handle the next three months of student teaching. Later in the night, I was talking a friend who is a fellow education major about my “train wreck” lesson and they asked me one question: “Did anyone die?”

The second I heard this question, I froze. I had heard it so many times before while I was in my middle school methods course with Mary Carlson, one of my education professors. After each time we taught a lesson in our placements, she would ask us how it went. The moment we started saying anything negative about our lesson, we would be asked if any of our students died while we were teaching. In MC’s eyes, if we could answer no, then our lesson was a success. That idea has continued to stick with me ever since, and I feel it is an important lesson for all teachers to learn.

We are human, so we are undoubtedly going to have our good and bad days. It’s all too easy to focus in on those bad days and block out all of the good things that happened. But if we can take a minute to step back and look at the day as a whole, we will surely be able to find something positive. After giving my answer, I was able to look back on my lesson and see that my students were able to get through all of the content, practice their examples, and come out of class with a good understanding of inverse functions. Sure it was disorganized at times, but it was a successful lesson and I just needed to take the time to step back and see that.

And the best part of it was not one student died.

1 Response to “Did Anyone Die? Keeping Things in Perspective”

  1. 1 carlylag October 2, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Awesome! I get so wrapped up in Smart Board difficulties but it is definitely not the end of the world!


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