You win some, and you lose some.
Win: The boys who sit in the back of my third-year class actually paid attention, asked me questions, and did their work one day.
Lose: My first-year students were lost in confusion for the last 20 minutes of class this morning.
Win: After playing a rowdy game, my first-year students sat back down and listened to my next instructions silently.
Lose: No matter what disciplinary tactic I used, I could only get two third-year students (out of 25) to pay attention . . . during an entire class.
Win: A student brought a piece of her birthday cake to my desk in the office just to share with me.
Lose: I had to discipline a student for incessant talking, and she wouldn’t even look at me the rest of class.
Win: I’ve been asked a few times now to join in on my students’ (nonstop) selfie-taking.
Lose: I find myself walking around to individual tables to give instructions more often than I find myself successfully able to give instructions to an entire, quiet class.
Win: The majority of my first-year students received top scores on their first ever speaking test! I’m so proud.
In reality, the wins weigh more than the losses. And that’s the good thing about it. This morning I walked out of my first-year class after having confused them to pieces for the last 20 minutes, so I was feeling pretty bummed. But as groups of my students rushed past me to get to their next class, they all smiled and waved and made a point to say “Goodbye, Teacher.” It doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to remind me that I hadn’t ruined them by confusing them. Class will be better next time, and in the meantime they’re pretty excited just to see me in the hallway and around campus. (Seriously, whenever they see me, they always smile so big, wave, and yell “Teachaaa!” to get my attention.) I’m glad they love so freely :).