As we all know, if you want the truth and nothing but the truth, there's some very reliable little people that will give it to you without an ounce of "fluff." Who could that be? Yep you guessed it, none other than your lovely students. Now don't get me wrong, most of the time you hear compliment after compliment about your hair, your shoes, or your necklace... but every so often, one student's opinion really sticks out to you.... like when I got asked if I was pregnant and 43 years old in the same day... Not that being pregnant or 43 is a bad thing, however when you're 23 and the thought of having a child anytime soon makes your stomach turn, it's not the first thing you wish to hear on a Monday morning. Needless to say, that outfit I was wearing has been donated to the nearest Goodwill for someone else to enjoy and anti-aging cream is the first item on my shopping list!
We are now 5 weeks into school and I have gotten the pleasure of meeting all 61 of my kiddos. We've laughed together, learned together, read together, danced together and sang together. At this point, we're pretty comfortable with one another... comfortable enough for them to start handing out those sweet compliments and opinions. Just last week, one of my second graders noticed that I have a strand of gray hair (yep, at 23!) As she came to embrace me in a hug, (as if the hug would somehow balance out the observation she was about to tell me) she exclaimed, "Ms. McDevitt you are way too young to have gray hair! What is happening to you!?" I thought to myself, "Well there's a lot of ways I could answer that question, but I'm just going to ignore it." But who am I kidding, I couldn't ignore it nor could I be angry about it... I mean, I am teaching them how to make valid observations, and she hit the nail on the head with that one! So of course, I began thinking of the things that may have some kind of role in bringing on this lovely streak of gray in my hair. One that stuck out to me was that daunting revelation that walk throughs are about to start!
Just saying the words "walk through" or "observation" immediately send panic into most teachers, which is SILLY, but nonetheless, true. After nearly hyperventilating because of all the things I needed to do before my walkthrough, I sat back and took a deep breath. And that's when it all hit me:
FIVE THINGS ALL TEACHERS NEED TO REMEMBER BEFORE ANY OBSERVATION1.) You were hired for a reason!!- HI, HELLO!!! This team of people hired you because they know you are good at what you do! They knew you were going to be the perfect fit for your kiddos, and guess what? YOU ARE.
2.) You are your own worst critic. -That's it. That's all you need to know. 9 times out of 10, you are the one putting this insane amount of pressure on yourself. Relax. You are going to rock it!
3.) There is no such thing as a perfect lesson. - Read that. Read it again. Read it to a neighbor. Turn and talk to your partner about it. Let it soak in. And then, embrace it. If lessons were designed to be perfectly executed every single time, can you imagine how BORING our job would be? Sometimes you have to experience a bad lesson to really recognize the incredible lessons you deliver on a daily basis. And when your lesson is almost perfect, celebrate it and share it with your coworkers! Learn to love celebrating each other's successes!
4.) Believe in yourself. - Get yourself in the right frame of mind. Exude confidence. They will feel that the second the walk through your door. And when you exude confidence, your students start to as well. Whose the real winner now?
5.) Just breathe and do what you do best- TEACH. That's all it comes down to, friends. You were made for this!
With all that being said, have a wonderful week and good luck on your observations... although, let's be honest, you don't need it!