Skip to main content

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!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Twelve Little Gifts, Thirteen Melted Hearts

My 8th period Spanish 1 class keeps me on my toes; I’ve determined that we are together at the end of the day, not for Spanish (though we do that, too), but for “Life”. Twelve young men and women and I are learning how to navigate life together, facing our difficulties and finding ways to overcome them.
We learn how to behave in a classroom setting. It should be obvious, but I’m learning not to assume. What is most important, and why? How does your behavior affect your academic success? How does your behavior affect others?
We learn how to work with each other, and this requires extensive training. At times it’s like “Boot Camp”: training, retraining, practice, retraining, a few more gray hairs, practice, retraining, repeat. This is how you ensure that everyone can take part This is how you express opinion without tearing down your classmate This is WHY you learn to work with others
We learn the importance of completing tasks, and completing them well. Responsibility is learned, not ingra…

I choose Integrity!

Here I stand before the open door...2017 is beckoning me forward.
How will I live in this new year? 

I choose INTEGRITY.
Google defines integrity as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness".

Every day I am faced with choices to make. Some choices are easy and cost little; others come with a greater cost. Do I really believe what I say I believe, or is it something to be discarded when it becomes inconvenient? Fully aware of the cost, I choose INTEGRITY.

C.S. Lewis fleshes out the definition: "Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching".


Both public and private choices carry weight, and all carry consequences. A careless word can pierce a heart. Inaction can cause grievous consequences for someone in an untenable situation. Selfish choices can wound a relationship or destroy a trust. Fully aware of the consequences, I choose INTEGRITY.

Tony Dungy: "Integrity. The choice between what's convenient an…

I Won't Give Up, Will You?

During the first week of school two years ago I overheard this comment: "My sister says that if she (referring to me) gives me any ****, she will come in and **** her!" If those "terms of endearment" were any indication, I was in for an interesting year!
Relationships require forgiveness.
"Sarah" came to class each day defiant. She swore at the drop of a hat, pushed for her own way, antagonized her classmates, and kept us from any moments of peace. But Sarah wasn't alone. She had several accomplices, students who were determined to disrupt, cause chaos, and demonstrate their independence and self-importance.

Each day was a challenge. Several times I deflected fights, and once had to have assistance for other teachers when Sarah and two other girls shouted obscenities and threats at one another.

All my attempts failed, at least with Sarah and company.

Relationships require patience.
One of my best assets in the classroom is patience. I believe that I am…