What could have been, if I had only reacted differently? What could have been if I had shown more patience? How can I respond better to that student? How can I communicate better with that family?
Questions can keep you up at night. Problems and situations can keep you up at night. My own sinful imperfection keeps me up at night wondering how I could handle classroom and school situations differently.
The problem is that I know, as a teacher, I can do better. Those are the things that keep me up at night.
Why did I react with anger instead of love?
How could I have handled that upset parent in a better manner?
Why hasn’t my classroom management been effective for that student?
Why did I fail as a teacher, today?
These are all tough questions, but they are important questions. It is vital that we, as teachers, see ourselves as imperfect teachers. I fully realize, as a profession, we are already very hard on ourselves.
Therefore, I am not calling on us, to beat ourselves up further. I am calling on us to reflect.
Reflection is one of the most critical aspects of effective teaching. Realizing our imperfections, we must push ourselves to think outside our box. To leave our comfort zone, and learn about areas that we are not familiar.
I wish I was a better teacher for my students. I wish that every discipline problem would be handled well. I wish that I could have the perfect answer for every struggling student.
But I don’t. I’m imperfect. I need help, and I always need to grow. We all do.