all the ways in which I suck as a teacher

  1. Monday rolls around, and I often don’t have my lesson planning done, so I have to wing it.
  2. I don’t keep changing the centers activities to match our theme; it’s so much work and I don’t have the time.  Okay, sometimes I do.  But not nearly enough.
  3. Sometimes I don’t keep a tight lid on the schedule, and we run out of time for recess.
  4. My desk and all the surfaces around the edges of the room are a mess.  I’m not very good about putting things away after I’ve used them.
  5. I don’t come in really early and stay late, the way most truly devoted teachers do.  I try to protect my personal and family time, but then I feel like I’m not giving enough time to my work.  And it’s impossible to be a really great teacher without putting in lots of unpaid time.
  6. All my blog announcements to the contrary, I still don’t really teach science.  I have this amazing water science book I was going to put in action, but haven’t found the time to read the whole damn thing and do all the prep work.
  7. I don’t contact parents nearly often enough.
  8. I don’t always write my weekly newsletter early enough to get it translated into Spanish.

There’s more.  I’ll keep ruminating on my failings….

21 thoughts on “all the ways in which I suck as a teacher

  1. Join the crowd. 🙂

    #3 seems like something worth working on. And maybe #7. Otherwise, I’d relax a bit. But that’s easy for me to say…

    As to #8, I use google translate. It’s not perfect, but it’s fast and close enough to be understood.

  2. My list is longer but my rule is to only focus on the things I can and want to change. The others I look at as “it’s just the way it is.”

  3. I wish this was an April Fool’s post. Everything you said is totally normal and understandable! Don’t beat yourself up about it. Remember, perfect is the enemy of good. You’re doing the best you can!

    And I have to disagree with this statement: “And it’s impossible to be a really great teacher without putting in lots of unpaid time.” My entire website and book are built around the opposite premise: It IS possible to be a great teacher and still have a life!

    Keep looking for ways to streamline and simplify, but don’t get down on yourself when you haven’t figured out how that works in a certain area yet. I can tell from your blog posts that you’re an amazing teacher and are working hard to balance everything. You should feel really good about what you ARE accomplishing. *I’m* proud of you! 🙂

  4. I can top most of your list as far as sucking. It is Tuesday, lesson plans still aren’t done. Don’t think I ever did them last week. I don’t even do a blog post or newsletter anymore. Yeah, I know. Almost everything I’ve gotten out to use since Christmas is still sitting on some flat surface in my room.

    And I don’t wanna stay late.

  5. LOL! I love it! #’s 1,2,4 are the ways I suck as a teacher too. Nice to know I’m not the only one. I blog stalk a lot and I am always amazed at these teachers who have time to make, do, sell and post all these great things. Maybe if I didn’t blog stalk…….

  6. I pretty much suck at all of those too, but to me your list is the stuff that we can let go and still not suck as a teacher 🙂 I think teaching preschool is all about relationships, and if we are present for the kids when they are there and follow their lead and support their interactions and learning then we don’t suck.

    Oh, you should see our storeroom – enter at your own risk! We suck at putting things back where they belong and are very good at pretending we aren’t tripping over boxes and in danger of baskets falling on our heads!

  7. Hey, me too. I finished and posted my lesson plan this afternoon during rest time. Numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 are totally me. I generally don’t skip the outside play, because I feel like their behavior is worse when they don’t have running around time, which makes whatever activity I’d skip it for pure torture for me…but doing the outside time often means I skip math. So, which is worse? Anyway, don’t beat yourself up. I figure that my kids are healthy, happy, and actively involved in their learning…I don’t have any major behavior issues…my parents are happy…so if my room is cluttered, oh well. It could be much, much worse.

    Don’t beat yourself up.

  8. You know what I think? NOTHING on that list is so important as to think you ‘suck as a teacher’. Do you think the children notice one thing on that list? … NO WAY! They just care that they can rely on you to be there for them … and if you don’t do that then, and only then, do you ‘suck as a teacher’.
    Donna 🙂 🙂

    • You must be channeling my dreams!! I constantly berate myself as a teacher under the guise of reflective practice. I love this comment from Donna. I think I’m going to make it into a poster, print it, laminate it, and super-glue it to my mirror… 🙂 It’s a day like today that I need to remember this, too. Thank you!

  9. I just found my desk after 4 weeks but it is still messy and will probably be MIA by next week! I am so luckly to work with the best Education Assistant ever who keeps the rest of the room so tidy!! Definately time to focus on what you do well I say!

  10. Pingback: Sisyphus stops by my preschool classroom « Elbows, knees, dreams

  11. nothing on your list said anything about the children suffering because you “suck” so i am guessing they are enjoying what you do and thriving because of your efforts, so as long as the children are happy i dont think you suck at all, i think you are human like the rest of us 🙂

  12. I am a college instructor and I feel like I totally SUCK at it. My biggest issue is going through my lesson plan way too quickly and class sometimes gets out 30 minutes early. I feel horrible about it. I just have a hard time holding a class long enough. Ugh. I honestly don’t like teaching. This is my last semester anyway.

  13. I’ve always believed that human beings make the best teachers. And though there may be some scheduling issues, I can tell from your blogging that you seem to have the qualities that count the most in the big picture. I use to run a creative department in an ad agency and could separate the talents that drove the agency from picky things that didn’t (late time sheets.)

    You sound like a great teacher.


  14. Ok, I am sorry that I am replying several years after your original post, but I love you! I am feeling so down tonight and suck in all the ways you do too. Currently, I am self medicating with a liquid beverage at the moment to stop the tears of inadequacy. Today, I became 1/2 of the only 2 people in my building that wasn’t nominated teacher of the month in the last two years of this among teachers contest conception. I am boohooing not because I truly desired to be teacher of the month, but because it tells me how badly all of the other teachers in my building think I suck. The suckiest thing is, I do try to be the best teacher I can be but never seem to succeed. Most years I have done the stay late game, but haven’t as much recently since my children have gotten to be more involved in activities. It doesn’t help me that my partner teacher, who I do love, is super awesome teacher, much beloved by all, capable of achieving everything in the classroom. By the way, this is my 14th year to suck at my job. Thanks for the time to vent.

  15. Wilidirishrose, I’m so sorry to hear that. Teaching is soooo hard, in so many different ways. Not feeling appreciated or supported by your fellow staff is definitely one way for it to be hard. Just the fact that you care shows that you ARE a good teacher. If you didn’t care, or didn’t question yourself, you wouldn’t be any good. Hang in there, and try to find something positive to hang onto, like the fact that you love your partner teacher.

  16. I feel the same way! I don’t know what to do. I’m horrible with planning and everything takes me forever to do. I feel like I’m not contributing enough to my team but I literally feel like my brain is disorganized and it takes me so long to focus and process information. I often feel like I don’t know how to teach something either. My Co teachers are super organized and Get stuff done so fast. I do not enjoy my job because its SO HARD for me. How do we fix this!? I felt like you can see me!! Lol

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