A couple of weeks back, I forgot how to teach temporarily. I believe there’s a segment of one’s brain that completely shuts off their occupation when they’re on vacation. The brain doth follow.
I was lap-deep in coding, researching, reading, socializing, and getting my order back in order. All the while, the New York State math standards crept to the side. Day after day of Christmas passed and I didn’t pay January 4th any mind. January 3rd comes around, and there’s n’ary a cracked book open. I did myself a favor and corrected papers, but for the life of me, I couldn’t nor wanted to remember anything about pedagogy, even as I’m making my way through Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s Children.
After a bit more coding, I hoped on Twitter and said, “I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.” The beauty about these big common spaces is that the more people are exposed to your message, the bigger the pool of experience that might match with yours. Someone will have eventually kicked themselves in the face just like you did, even when you didn’t think you had the physical capacity to do so. Fortunately for me, someone had the right prescription for my lack of intuition:
“Stand. And. Deliver. Instant lesson plan.” – @chrislehmann
Just then, everything became clear. It’s not the underpinnings to become the next erudite educator or a quotable education bank of knowledge (though that helps). My primary focus is to teach, and do the best possible job whether I have a plethora of resources or only a piece of chalk and a gradebook. Not everyone understand the things I do nor to what capacity, but my constituents seem mostly happy with my performance in many arenas, and frankly, that’s what matters.
Mr. V, who’s been asked to talk about developing a teacher voice, and will do so tomorrow …