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.