Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"I'll take 'Poor Planning' for 500 please, Alex."

I mostly refrain from using sports metaphors, especially in education discourse. That said, a former principal came up with one of the best analogies I've ever heard. "Teaching is like baseball," he said, "because on any given day you might be mediocre or even awful, so you have to measure your success by looking at the whole season." Which is another way of saying that even the good teachers sometimes aren't.

Now, today wasn't that bad. But it certainly could have been better.

Last night was rough. I had a metric ton of grading and was zinged by a cold to boot, and subsequently I didn't do enough planning for today. Oh sure, I had a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish in each class, but none of these ideas really gelled until I got to school this morning. And after five years of teaching, I know better than to try to plan in the morning. One must plan well in advance, because if one walks into the classroom without a plan, Very Bad Things will happen. Teenagers can smell a lack of planning from three periods away.

Now, let's be clear. I'm exaggerating. But I talked way too much today, a sure sign of poor planning, and I even cracked very stupid jokes which, if you don't know me or my sense of humor, could be mistaken for stupid and uninformed jokes. Luckily, my students get me and forgive my stupidity. Usually.

And so tonight I'm reviewing the unit plan and next week's activities, and I'm regaining that sense of control. Unfortunately, my ability to write cogently has apparently left the building with Elvis, so this-here post is getting cut short.


1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the benefit of not planning ahead is the uncomfortable ignominy which accompanies it. Who wants to feel that again soon?