Last night was pretty low. It’s been a long, hard semester. I’ve been on lots of medicine and haven’t quite been myself. This class of students has a well earned reputation. I don’t feel like I’ve connected with the students as much as normal. I don’t feel like the students have learned as much as normal. I have objective measures to back those feelings up. I don’t feel like I’m making a difference.

So, today, I’m making myself find good things.

  • My juniors are delightful people, and I should get another year with them next year.
  • I finally wrote a precal final where the class average was about where it’s been all year, instead of 20 points lower. It’s also a reasonable test, not too easy and not too hard.
  • I have wonderful colleagues who pick up the slack when I’m down or out and who care about me.

I may not have made progress on curriculum or teaching methods or connecting to students this year, but…

  • my classroom is well organized for the first time ever. Students needed radian protractors for this morning’s exam, and I had a pile of them ready and knew just where to find them.
  • I’m much more on top of the rules this year. I’ve called kids out for flouting the rules and for bad behavior, which I used to let slide.
  • I’ve caught kids when they cheated.
  • I’ve taught kids more about social skills than normal. We’ve talked about not being “that guy,” about why you shouldn’t be intentionally obnoxious, about how you don’t get to decide when someone else’s feelings are hurt.
  • I’ve been able to model apologies this year.

That’ll do for starters.


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