I believe we all have them. Those very challenging days that make you wonder what you've learned throughout your tenure of teaching. Whether it's your first year of teaching or your 30th, you're bound to experience these down days when your skills, knowledge, and abilities are challenged.
How can I avoid a similar day in the future?
New Teaching Means New Organization
First, it's becoming more and more necessary to keep every paper, email, and note related to an event together in one easy go to space, a place that's quickly accessible as there's bound to be changes and challenges, and that's when it's necessary to check the facts. It's been a long time since I revisited the way I organize so many aspects of the way I teach, and now with many changes at play, it's time to revisit those organization systems to support the inevitable changes and challenges that occur.
Guard Your Time
Next, I have to remind myself to guard my time. It's easy to be called into a conversation or issue, but it's always best to schedule any important conversations and not entertain them in an impromptu time. Every time this happens, I remind myself and then after it doesn't happen for a long while, it typically happens again which reminds me again of the danger of impromptu meetings about important topics.
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place Online and Off!
After that a place for everything and everything in its place extended to the online world. When a topic begins to become a string of loosely knitted emails, then you know it's time to create a website or make a file home for that topic. What we do with the information we receive is very important especially when that information impacts our daily work.
Make Time to Nurture and Develop Relationships
Then, the standard, relationships. "The people are more important than the issues," is a comment often made when there is focus on the importance good relationships play in your professional and personal lives. I can't emphasize that enough, but that doesn't mean it's always easy to remember.
Coming back after a two days of sickness is not easy as the class routines and efforts are never quite the same as when you're there leading the children. This is especially true today as we teach differently in many ways than in the past, and this difference is often not understood by substitute teachers.
The day after these challenging days is always a better day as I'll certainly benefit from the reminders and new learning.