I was on fire today. This may or may not have been a good thing, but it was true. I was in full-on high-energy "let's bang out this content" mode.
We went through examples quickly and I wrote a ton of notes on the board. We didn't have much downtime and, it appeared, that this was beneficial for the kids.
Without the opportunity to lose focus, they did an excellent job of answering my questions and making connections with prior content.
The level of participation was also excellent. Kids who usually chat were too busy taking notes and the kids who are usually bored with the pace were pleased and involved.
Several kids said "can we have class like this every day?"
I was very pleased with this! And then I received and angry email from a parent and my head went spiraling down.
I thought back to the kids who loved the way class went today and it sort of broke my heart a bit.
I've been struggling to move my classroom out of the box, away from the traditional model of "here are some problems. Let's do a few together, then you do some."
I know there is resistance to change and that's normal. Perhaps my problem is that I tried to change too much too quickly?
125 days into the year with this new district and I feel as though I'm starting to get a handle on what the kids need. I'm just not sure yet how to get them there.
Yesterday, a student told my colleague that I never teach. Last Thursday a student said I was the best teacher she'd ever had. Monday, a student said that he likes my class because it helps him to feel smart. Last year, I had two students in the same class tell me that I never teach and I teach everything.
One parent has demanded to see my qualifications to teach their child, while another sent me an email thanking me for the amazing impact that I had on their child.
I'm trying. I'm trying so hard to be the teacher that my students need. So often, however, the teacher they need isn't the teacher they want. I know I won't be able to make everyone happy. There will always be students and parents who disagree with my methods and ideology.
I will never stop trying. I'm not perfect today, but I hope I'm better today than I was yesterday.
Tomorrow, I'll be even better!