Home > General > I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

This last semester, I had three new courses I had never taught before.  (Ok, one of them I had taught, but we had new standards.)  I worked really hard.  I felt like my entire life revolved around school.  I struggled to keep my head above water.  To make matters worse, the textbooks I had were useless.  The students never used their textbooks and I never opened mine.  When TN adopted new standards, they made things much more difficult.  Several of the topics that were now required were not in the textbooks.  I loved the challenge.  I have since decided that I hate being tied to a textbook.

With the new semester, I am looking at my schedule and breathing a sigh of relief.  I am teaching two classes I have taught before.  My husband is relieved.  But, I don’t think I can do it the easy way.  I can’t do the same thing I did last time in these classes.  I want to be better.  I want to be fresh.  I know that what I did last time was ok, but not as great as it could be.  I guess I’m not satisfied with the job I did last time.  So here is the question:  Will I ever be satisfied?  I know several teachers who pull out the same tests and the same projects and the same power points and the same…  You get the idea.  This reminds me of a sad side story:

I met a parent a couple of months ago and I briefly explained how my class operates.  I was standing with another teacher who taught a different subject.  This teacher had taught the parent of the student many years ago.  He told the parent, “My class is pretty much the same as when you had it.  I haven’t changed things a lot.”  I nearly cried. 

So the question remains:  Will I ever be satisfied with my class?  I hope not.  I want to always strive to be better.  I don’t ever want to get too comfortable with my teaching.  I never want this to be so easy that I stop trying.  I never want to stop scouring the internet for new ideas.  I want to read blogs written by excellent teachers and strive to be one.  So this year, I resolve to keep working hard.  I will not dust off an old test or pull out an old project with out critiquing and revising it first.  I will tailor each class to the students in it.  Will this make my job more time-consuming and harder?  Probably.  Will it be worth it?  Yes!

Categories: General
  1. January 2, 2011 at 2:21 am

    “I know several teachers who pull out the same tests and the same projects and the same power points and the same… You get the idea.”

    But they don’t have the same students. Think of teaching as performance art: there is nothing wrong with presenting the same play repeatedly to different audiences, polishing the same production. Sure, there are advantages to learning a new play or doing a very different production of a play you have performed before, but there is nothing wrong with productions having a run of more than one performance!

    • January 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      @gasstationw I do think of teaching as a performing art. I feel like I’m on stage everyday and several students tell me that I use a southern accent when I teach. (I’m from the north, living in the south.) I agree that when I get it right, whether it be a project, lesson, assessment…, I will use it again and again, but I just don’t feel like all of what I have is my best. I tend to start out strong and midway through the year the repetitivie nature of my class emerges. I’m just trying to make the entire semester as good as the first three weeks.

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