Monday, March 16, 2009

Special Series: "On Failure" and "On Success"

Over the next two weeks, I'm going to try something a little different in an attempt to help other teachers. I spend a lot of time reflecting on what I do in order to become a better teacher, and I'm launching a special series where I will look closely at both the positives and negatives of my school year so far.

This week, starting on Tuesday and ending Saturday, I'll be detailing my five biggest failures as a teacher this year. I made a lot of mistakes that made this year harder than it should have been, and it will help me (and hopefully others) to reflect upon what I could have done differently.

Of course, I wouldn't be doing myself any favors if I was to dwell only on what I did wrong and not on the good things as well. So from Tuesday through Saturday next week, I'll balance the negative with my five greatest successes as a teacher this year.

I can tell you that it was much easier to come up with five ways I've failed (I actually came up with so many more that I had to stop myself) than to come up with five successes. I'm my own worst critic, so of course I tend to think things are much worse than they actually are, but that forces me to constantly strive to improve. In the end, I think my students benefit from that.

Here's all of the entries from both series:

On Failure:
  1. Systems and Procedures
  2. Student-Teacher Relationships
  3. Teaching a New Subject
  4. Stressing Out
  5. It's Not About You
On Success:
  1. Reaching My Goals
  2. New Games & Projects
  3. Fostering Positive Change in Students
  4. I Still Want to Teach Forever
  5. Not Bringing Work Home