I’m hard on myself on this blog. It’s for good reason. If no one tells me I suck, then I’ll never get better. And I’m surrounded by very positive, supportive people. So the only way I’ll improve as a teacher is if I stay hard on myself.
But sometimes, I deserve to commend myself, notice the sunshine. So here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head list of things I’m good at or areas of vast improvement in my almost three years as a teacher.
1. I memorize students’ names faster than any teacher I know of.
2. My expectations have gotten higher every year. My average grades have stayed the same.
3. I can hook up my own technology, thanks.
4. My discipline problems have gone way down since my first year. I write up very few students, mostly because I just don’t need to.
5. I don’t lose my head over hoop-jumping administrative stuff. Some teachers throw tantrums when they’re asked to do anything extra. I’ll either comply or politely forget to do it.
6. I keep my mouth shut. High school’s a gossip-laden soap opera for teachers, too. It’s very hard to avoid rumors about students or the nosy, negative attitudes of some colleagues. I do a decent job of minding my own business.
7. I’m not an idiot. I can write a clear email to a parent. I can create a spreadsheet and analyze test grades on it. I know students would much rather tell me about their game instead of me just saying, “Good job,” so I ask open-ended questions about their performance. I’m not good at some pretty important things, but I know I’m capable of figuring them out.