Thursday, December 3, 2015

#335: Do-overs

Before Thanksgiving break I asked my supervisor to come observe my teach a class that has been a struggle to teach. He did, and a few days later he came in and confirmed what I knew: it wasn't so great. His feedback was super helpful, though: "You're doing the work, Joy. The kids need to do the work." I knew he was totally right.

Over the holiday I reworked my attitude and approach to not only that class, but all of them, and today my supervisor observed the same class again. We haven't talked about the results, but I know it was way, way better. Even if he disagrees, I felt so much better--I was more prepared and I had deliberate tasks that required the students to do the work. 

I feel so good about the changes I made! Not only did the students do more work, because they were busy working I was able to wander around and help students that needed it. I also (and perhaps more important to me for long-term well being) had way more energy by the end of the day, because 1) I wasn't worn out from trying to make students pay attention to me, and 2) my attitude was still positive by the end of the day, and 3) I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

As so often happens, I just needed someone else to say out loud to me what I was thinking. It works the same way with my trainer, in fact, just this week. I almost cancelled my Monday appointment with him because I felt so bad about not eating super well or exercising much over the holiday. However, I knew that if I cancelled, it'd be another week of making excuses and allowing myself to continue behavior that makes me feel icky. 

And so I showed up, bad mood and all. At one point he asked me how my long run went over the weekend. I didn't do it, I said. Why not? he asked. I mumbled something about not feeling like doing much living on Sunday and I just about burst into tears. I think he noticed because he said, "Well, you're here now."  

That's what it's about: the do-overs. At least I'm here now. At least I'm still teaching. At least I keep trying again. A few years ago I was watching an Eagles football game I where Nick Foles threw at least 2 interceptions (possibly 3?) but his team came back to either win or almost win the game. The part I remember was what the announcer said [paraphrased by me]: What makes a quarterback great is how he responds to throwing those interceptions. I think of this all the time: I don't want to be a quarterback that gives up after a bad first half; I want to come back in the second half ready to start over and win!

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