Friday, February 11, 2011

What Good Teachers Do: An Introduction

When I began this blog, I envisioned it as a place for me to talk about my personal experiences as well as my findings about educating and reaching students.

I specifically said I wanted to talk about the things I see that work in the classroom and things that don't.  Admittedly, I haven't talked as much about my personal experiences as I intended.  I try to update pretty regularly, but most of my posts aren't specifcally about my own sub jobs.  I want to improve that.

Another thing I've wondered about is what regular teachers think of a blog like this one.  When I do manage to describe my workdays, I wonder what impression I give of teachers and school staff.  I wonder if I seem way too critical of regular teachers when I talk a lot about bad workdays, difficult classrooms, missing lesson plans, etc.  Does that make teachers seem incompetent?  Like I'm being really judgmental?  To be fair, those things happen quite a bit and, in being honest, I wanted to discuss the frustrations of the job.  Perhaps it would help a regular teacher keep a few things in mind for when they prepare for a sub or teach their students.  But I don't want regular teachers to think all subs come into a room and nitpick everything.  I don't do that at work but I think I don't fairly balance my experiences on the blog.  

It's interesting to talk about bad work days.  They happen.  It's cathartic.  I was actually going to make a post about how, earlier this week, I was once again left with poorly constructed lesson plans, not really to cast aspersions on the teacher, but to describe an afternoon of "winging it" that actually rounded out interestingly.  But I thought, "Why do that?  I can't remember the last time I posted about something that shed a positive light on the teachers for which I sub.  That's not fair."  Thinking about it, one of the few positive mentions I've made about something done by a teacher I've personally subbed for is found in the post dedicated to the Class Build-a-Story activity I so admire.  That was far too long ago!

So, I will save the story I intended about that particular day and post it later, but I must be more proactive in talking about the good things I see in schools, and the amazing educators I encounter most of the days that I work.  I want to be a regular teacher, and I do glean a lot of things from the classrooms I visit.  Not just, "Oh no, never do it like that teacher."  There's also a lot of, "Wow, this teacher is awesome.  I want to do this like him/her!"  I learn as much from the good as I do the bad, if not more.

In this case, next week will be dedicated to the good teaching habits and positive stories I've personally seen since the semester began.  I see tons of teachers like the ones I will describe, but I so rarely talk about them.  I hope to change that.  For the regular teachers who pass by this blog, I apologize if I've ever seemed too critical.  So many great teachers are a positive influence on me and serve as models for me everyday.  What Good Teachers Do... will be a series dedicated to them.


image: microsoft


  1. Just found your blog- this cracks me up! I was a substitute for a few years before becoming a teacher, and I learned so much! It's neat to see a blog from your perspective.

  2. Aw, but the good stories are about the bad days!

    Just kidding. There are good stores about the good days as well. I think the trick is to keep a balance, because the gig has its ups and downs.

  3. Ash, I'm now following your blog! I love hearing that subs become successful teachers. It's a big encouragement!

    Liz, I agree that bad days make really interesting stories. But I must do a better job with highlighting my good days, too. Believe it or not, I have many!

  4. I've just read through a couple of your blog posts, and I love reading what you have to say about subbing. I was a sub for a year and a half before I got a full-time job, so I know what you're going through. It's great to reflect on your good days as well as your bad, but don't worry about what others think when they read your blog. After all, its' YOUR blog, say what you want!

  5. Thanks, Hadar! Welcome to the blog! Congrats on making it up the ranks!