Friday, September 25, 2015

Where is the "UNDO" button?


Sometimes I need a "UNDO" button:

  • the lesson I planned is a complete disaster;
  • I never copied the test I need for this period;
  • my students are angry because I overlooked an infraction for one student but not for another;
  • the teacher next door was out of school three days with a sick child and I didn't take the time to ask about the child, offer my help, or just share an encouraging word;
  • a student is struggling in my class but I don't offer any extra help;
  • in impatience I criticized a student and embarrassed him in front of his peers;
  • homeroom attendance? I completely forgot to check and submit! Was everyone there?;
  • that girl was visibly upset by something, but I didn't stop to see what was wrong or how I could help;
  • oh, I was supposed to attend a meeting this morning!

Life doesn't have a "UNDO" button.


At times I want to take back my words, change my actions or reactions, or even go back and "insert" what I've omitted. But I can't. And I feel like a failure. And I criticize myself. And I wait for the angry phone call or email, or see disaster unfold before me. I relive the moment in my mind, and replay the failure again and again...and again.


Sometimes I drag myself home at night thinking that perhaps I should choose a new career.


But there is a "REDO" button.

  • Tomorrow I can begin again;
  • I can swallow my pride and apologize--to my administrators, to my coworkers, to my students (yes, it is difficult, but it is necessary);
  • I can make a phone call home;
  • I can track down a student in another class;
  • I can explain (NOT excuse) what I have done, how I have failed, and how I will do things differently;
  • I can remember what I preach to my students--mistakes are not the end of my life; they are opportunities for growth.
We are all human. We will make mistakes. We need to own the mistakes. We need to recover, to change, to grow.


What mistakes have you had to face?

What have you done to correct them?

Will you choose to learn and grow from your mistakes, 
will you declare yourself all-powerful, autonomous and too important to apologize, 
or will you proclaim yourself a loser beyond remedy and quit trying?



Only one answer is right...



REDO!



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