This week was one of highs and lows. It started off with tiredness.
The previous Saturday had been an open day at school so with only one full day off I was back at work. Happily the kids were great and things were ticking along. However, as this is quite an emotional job the key to being successful in the classroom is to take care of yourself and to rest. Not always possible however at the start of a new school year. By Tuesday I was pretty tired and marking, planning, teaching, displays, homework, meetings (just to scratch the surface) were taking their toll.

The final straw hit me on Wednesday whilst teaching year 10 about linear graphs. The lesson didn’t work even though it was well planned and differentiated. The students were not independent and drained my energy with their lack of thinking for themselves. At moments like that all teachers look at themselves and think what on earth? How did that happen and I must be such a bad teacher. What I have learned though is that the best teachers suck it up, regroup and come back with a plan.

So with a battle strategy Churchill would have been proud of I went in next lesson armed with card sorts and worksheets. The lesson was better and the students had what they needed at their disposal to complete the task. I didn’t intervene and I left them to it. My role was to facilitate. This is to reduce their constant insecurity and build their own confidence to do it themselves. It seems paradoxical at times that the less I help them, the more I actually do help them.
Everyone ultimately wants to work something out for themselves as it builds our self esteem and helps us develop the reasoning and thinking skills to solve a whole host of problems. Life is problem solving.
We read reports in the media of better results for students and I have experienced schools that push students and feed them the process to pass the exam. If teachers always give students the information they will not develop into the individuals they could be. The more skills you enable a student to develop the better they will be equipped to contribute to society.
Big thoughts in the middle of a tiring week.

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