Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 17, 2007

Confessions of a Shaky Teacher

Okay, so maybe I’m not so shaky in my execution. But I often feel shaky on the inside. And yesterday morning I broke Rule #1 of subbing: Don’t ever let ’em know you’re scared. However, it worked out fine, a testament to the kids, and the good environment the school has created for everyone.

I basically just fessed up at the start of the day to the 7th & 8th graders that I had something at stake, even if for them it was just another schoolday, maybe even more of a vacation day now with a sub. I told them flat out about having bombed out as a high school teacher awhile back, how I was disorganized and lazy (forgot to mention how much I hated grading… still do), and how I had been both looking forward to and dreading doing the more “academic” teaching (language arts, math, social studies) with them this week and next. One girl laughed when I used the word dread –not to be mean, just to imply her opinion that they weren’t anything worth dreading or fretting over.

And she was right. I confessed about the weight on my shoulders, and the weight was lifted. Thank God for small graces. We had a fine day. A little slow, as I found my feet again. A few left turns and classic junior high moments (like the pencil sharpener mess… cost two boys half their recess cleaning it up). But overall a fine, fun day.

Onward and inward…


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