We all have them. I had a doozy of one a few weeks ago. Myself and, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
It all started off when I decided to use the iPads in my classroom for the first time. I did not have a system for handing them out efficiently so there was chaos in getting the iPads to students. I also opted to forego the day’s Warm-Up so we could get to the fun Review Activity I had planned for the day – more chaos. That day a parent decided she was going to sit next to her student during that class which helped with that one student, but all other students were off the wall. One more change to the regular routine I would guess.
Students were unfocused, not following my directions and I had to, dare I say, raise my voice to get the students’ attention. To top it all off, my Principal decided she would be in my room to make Mom more comfortable and make sure that everything was going well.
Although I have been teaching a number of years, I am new to this campus and this was the first time my new Principal saw me in action. Not good. I am embarrassed by what she saw. The only good thing I can say is that after the students were settled, they got into the review game I had planned. Everything else, unfortunately, was a loss.
Lessons I had forgotten:
- Students need to have the expectations set out BEFORE the equipment is handed out.
- It is easier to start class with control and keep it than to gain control back later in the class. (The same can be said for the school-year)
- Do not deviate from routines – they are there to keep order in class. Students need to know what to expect in your class.
- It’s okay to say, “No.” I knew that my day was not going well, I should not have allowed the parent in my classroom on that particular day. Any other day, OK, with more than one minute notice.
- Invite your Supervisor, whoever that may be, to your class well before they have a chance to see you at your worst. I’ve had plenty of other days that would have been a better representation of what kind of teacher I am.
I have my formal evaluation this week and with a little luck, and a lot of planning, I am hoping that my Principal has a better opportunity to see me in action. I am also going to have to work extra hard to get out of the hole that I am now in because of the first impression she has of my teaching.
What about you? Have you ever had a similar experience? What did you do? How did your Supervisor respond?