Analog comment from my grandma after reading this blog:
I think you’re too hard on yourself.
Analog comment from my fiance:
You’re your own strongest critic.
Yes, I evaluate my lessons with a very critical eye.
But hear me out: I’m extremely careful to be methodical and specific when I look back at my lessons. First, it helps me improve my planning and teaching. Second, it also helps even out the highs and lows I feel after classes.
After the “blah” day of teaching, I didn’t go home and say, “Well, that sucked. I guess I’m a horrible teacher after all” and drown my sorrows in Plants vs. Zombies. First I looked at what went well, and to my surprise, I could list off a bunch of learning that I knew took place that day. When I looked at what went wrong, it was actually one aspect of one activity. It wasn’t a catastrophe just because it wasn’t perfect. Even though I felt a little off, the class made progress.
On the flip side, sometimes I feel like a lesson just went Amazingly well and I can’t even believe how competent I feel. I still look back at exactly what went well and why. Then, when I ask myself what could have been improved, I realize that actually, it wasn’t perfect. Even though I felt like a veritable teaching wizard, I can still make progress as an educator.
So in a way, yes, I’m hard on myself. But by being rationally critical of the learning that took place on a given day, I open the door for my own growth as a teacher and I gently close the door that irrational, unsubstantiated fears of inadequacy would otherwise pour through on the “blah” days.