I’m An Expert At Making Mistakes #MTBoSBlogsplosion

When I saw the prompt for this week’s #MTBoSBlogsplosion, I was so excited because this is something I feel like an expert in a lot of the time. Especially if you go to my first period class. But I feel like I’m pretty honest about being terrible at times, and that makes me feel more ok. Here are some examples:

–I was teaching summer geometry (I did a whole 180-type blog about it) and I wanted to do this 3-act task called Meatballs. I actually blogged about it. Except the memory of this lesson doesn’t resemble what I said in the blog. What I remember is we watched the 1st and 2nd acts, and then the students did a bunch of math. I walked around the room facilitating as they were doing this. All the groups did do some math. And they were like all wrong. All were different. But there was one group, the most unsuspecting group, that got the answer exactly right! So I was super excited that I was going to be able to share the 3rd act and they would be able to share the correct way to look at this problem. So when the time came for them to share, they were equally excited because all they did was guess! I prodded so much – “Well share the formula you used.” “We didn’t use one.” “What numbers did you use?” “We just picked a random number.” “But like what did you put in your calculator???” “Oh we were just messing around so you thought we were working.” Yeah. So all that time for absolutely no progress. In fact it probably was more harm than good. That memory to this day haunts me whenever I’m thinking about 3-ask tasks.

–I apologize to my first period almost every week for something. My planning is just really bad. I will plan way too much and get lost in the time and forget to give my first period something really important. Or I will think an activity will take a lot longer and then it goes in the wrong direction and I have to stop it and it makes things awkward. My evaluator commented that I could improve my flow in the classroom, and she observed my 6th period, after I’d taught the same class twice that day. I can only imagine what she would have said if she saw my first period. Even though I hate it, I’m pretty lucky to have my 2 plan periods right after 1st period so I can redo my whole lesson if I have to, and I have multiple times. Also, I’ve had to send Remind messages like this multiple times:

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-9-44-09-pm

This was before their final exam where the other math teachers had just informed me they were allowing a notecard for the test. Those kids probably just go home and laugh at me, but that’s fine because I laugh at them all the time, too. (Side questions: How is it only read by 3/12? Like doesn’t it go to all their phones? And how do I get more students to sign up for Remind?!)

–Behind my desk I have this oversized pencil and eraser. I had been having a rough day already and walked into my classroom from being in the hall during passing period to find a student at her desk drawing with my oversized pencil and a bunch of other kids crowded around it. This is a student who frequently makes rude comments to me and others, usually followed up by her asking me why I would want to teach in a school with “bad kids like her”. I shouted, “Put down my pencil! You cannot just go behind my desk and grab my things!” She proceeded to yell back at me something slightly offensive and I just pointed for her to go out the door. I immediately knew I overreacted. She didn’t come to school the next day. I wrote her an apology note and gave it to her 1st period teacher to give to her. The note went something like “I’m sorry that I sent you out of the room last time we saw each other. I could have dealt with the situation in a much better way. I really care about you and how you grow as a student in my class, so I hope we can talk about what happened one day without raising our voices.” She came into class after that and didn’t mention the note, but wasn’t acting any different than she did before the pencil incident so I figured we’d address it when she wanted to address it. A week or so later, someone made a reference to my big eraser, and then I heard that student say, “well you better not try to use her pencil or else she’ll send you out and write some note saying she cares about you and give it to Mrs. G to give to you.” I was honestly pretty hurt, but I know I was the one who made the mistake in the first place. She’s improved her attitude a bit since last semester when that happened, though. I wish I had a better way to deal with rude behaviors.

Je suis la meilleure à commettre des erreurs.

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