“You are the lone-nut” -Elisabeth Ellington.
Now isn’t that refreshing?
You are 1) alone, and 2) crazy. Welcome to the wonderful world of teaching.
Upon first hearing this statement, I, like many of classmates, went into an instant panic. How is it that you can manage a classroom without knowing what to expect, how to act, or how to handle your students? The answer…you don’t.
I have come to the painstaking conclusion that I will have to put my OCD and perception of perfection in “time out” when it comes to “me in the classroom.” It is impossible to know how to act, when you have never been in the place to act.
You cannot expect what you haven’t experienced.
You cannot control the uncontrollable.
You cannot succeed without failing.
Now that’s enough to make any pre-educator run for the hills or to the blank employee application to McDonalds. UNLESS (ah, yes!) unless you are able to realize that failing is actually the golden key. Failing enables you as a teacher to demonstrate your vulnerabilities as a human being, to show your students that mistakes are mistakes NOT tragedies, to show your students that YOU ARE HUMAN. Teachers make mistakes, students make mistakes, the President of the United States of American makes mistakes. And you know what, that. is. okay.
There I said it; mistakes are okay, failure is okay. I’m okay with failing! But, I am only okay with failing when I can grow from it. I can only allow myself to fail if I can allow myself to find the success in the failure, to move forward and struggle on, to change the bad and try the good (even if it turns out to be another “bad”).
I sound like a lone-nut. I am a loner to my future classroom….and that drives me crazy. So what can I do about it? Plan? Plan so much that I cannot fail? No. For myself, for my sanity, I must not plan details but rather plan strategies. I must plan me, my interests, my habits, my practices. These aspects will shape my success, they will shape my failure, and they will shape how I work through the failure.