(Yes, that’s a big concept, but I think we can handle it.)
So why today? I was inspired by something that occurred this afternoon: I asked a colleague in passing after school how her day had been, and she answered, “Great!” That prompted me to stop and truly think about my reply – when she asked me in turn, all I could come up with was, “Well, my day was good.”
And that’s true. I didn’t have any disasters occur on my watch. Nothing really went wrong. But I ended my day feeling like I could have done a lot of things better in my teaching and management, as I do most days.
I don’t want to get too negative about things. I always have to remember to compare where I am now with where I started in my career and keeps things in perspective. During my entire first year of teaching, which was not so long ago, I never felt that I could honestly even say that my day was “good” – it was “OK” at best. (Perhaps I should take this time to clarify that, in my head, my day-ranking scale is a standard, basic: bad–poor–OK–good–great.)
So what will it take to make my honest reply to an inquiry about my day be, “Great!”? I think that I will need to feel like I’ve nailed teaching my lessons in all of my classes, with special focus on areas in which I know I tend to struggle – pacing, eliciting multiple responses, making clear the purpose and real-world application of each lesson. I will need to feel that I’ve connected with every student at least once, even if it’s just to shake their hand upon entrance to my classroom. I will need to feel that I still have energy to expend at the end of the day, whether that’s from my healthy lunch or from being jazzed about the aforementioned successes. I will need to feel organized and see evidence of that on my desk and in my inbox.
That’s what I have so far. And that’s a lot to ask, but nothing seems impossible. For me, it’s all about those pieces falling into place at the same time. As I operate currently, I am seeing success in these areas on different days, which makes my days generally “good,” but I like to think that, by the end of this year, I will be able to experience at least one great day of teaching. I’m setting that goal for myself and counting on you, the readers, to hold me accountable and check in.
What would it take for you to feel like you’ve had a great day at work? Or, if you are already regularly answering in that way…what’s your secret?
BT Bubble Sheet
BT Bubble Sheet (BTBS) is a Dallas ISD middle school teacher. Visit her blog here for more blogs in addition to what she writes for us!
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