Despite my extreme — and ridiculous — bout of nerves, I survived the observation by my principal this week. It’s really pretty ludicrous because my principal has never been anything but supportive. I suppose I wasn’t as nervous about being judged or evaluated by her as by having her come in and think, “Wow! What a mistake I’ve made!”
Thankfully, she didn’t. The lesson went well. The objective was met. The students were on their best behavior — for the most part. And, she has given me positive feedback.
Still, I allowed one lesson to overwhelm my day — in some ways, my week. I put so much effort and importance into that one lesson that I’m still reeling from it two days later. So, let’s focus on the mindfulness side of things and what works and what doesn’t work.
What doesn’t work is that no one has the time and energy to put that much into any one lesson. I teach multiple lessons a day and couldn’t possibly plan each one the way that I did this one. So, I need to let go of any expectation that each and everything I teach should be planned down to each final detail — the way we were taught to do in school. It’s an impossible expectation. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.
However, what works about it is that planning that carefully leads to success. It also brings to mind my old days teaching adults to work on computers. I could put hours and hours and hours into each lesson, plan it down to the last little detail, write amazing materials for each class I taught, and focus all my energy — and some of my colleagues’ energies — into those lessons. Why? Well, each class I taught would be taught multiple times and I was paid both for my teaching and my curriculum development skills. I was also given time to do both sides of the job. It was a different world.
However, I think I need to tap into those skills that I know very well I have a little bit more. It felt good to clean up the haphazard materials that I’d cobbled together from various sources. It felt good to plan a lesson, prep the materials, and use those old skillz again. The one thing that I wanted to do but couldn’t was to have ready access to a slide presentation and use that to guide my teaching — back in the day (when I taught in an auditorium to a couple hundred adults at a time), that was how I did things. Maybe I need to tap back into those skillz too. I think I’ll talk to my boss about some ideas brewing in that arena as well. Hmmmmm.
This mindfulness thing is pretty good!