“You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.”
As you ready this, I would like you to consider how you deal and then recover from those days in your teaching, and would very much like to hear anyone’s strategies, either in the comments or over on Twitter. I am writing this on Monday afternoon….although it is closer to early-evening that afternoon, if we are being strictly honest. Today was one of those days, you know the kind I mean, and I am sure it means something slightly different for each of us. I was having a shocker and, unfortunately, it meant that my students suffered.
I had had an ordinary weekend, attending a pre-season seminar (I referee football/soccer) that left me fuming for a variety of reasons, in addition to it being hot and humid. When I finally got home, I had a vent to Mrs. C21st (who also had a vent, as she had had one of those days at work). It did not help, at all. I suspect the fact that it was thirty-three degrees celsius in the coolest room of the house may have played a role in that. So we ended up going out for dinner and some drinks to escape the weather.
I grew up in Tamworth, where, while it might have been forty degrees celsius, there was also zero humidity. I am of course not a fan of such temperatures, but the dry heat I am used to. It was what I was born into, and grew up with, I am adjusted to it and my body can deal with it. Although I have lived in the Gosford area of NSW for close to ten years, I still find that I do not handle the humidity down here. Yesterday and today were both, to my body, very humid days and I felt like I was wading through sludge in the fog.
I completely botched the introduction of a new process I want the class to follow, causing huge confusion and much frustration amongst both them and myself. I got frustrated when, as I was circulating through the room when I found that things were not being done the way that I wanted them done…I was completely off my game. On top of that, the air conditioner in the room is broken (it was flagged in October last year) and so the students are struggling in the room with only ceiling fans and whatever cross-breeze we happen to get through the windows.
This afternoon I had to leave early for an appointment and with so much that I needed to catch up on I decided I would prefer to spend more time in my room now, rather than come in super-early tomorrow, and it has helped me regather my focus and find my calm center. I received a call with an offer for casual work on Friday of this week, at a school I have not worked at previously and was told that work would be left for me, and that the middle session would be sporting rotations for Stages Two and Three, that I would need to come prepared to plan and deliver (using their equipment of course).
I have also been able to sit and focus on getting through some basic administrative tasks with some music I find relaxing playing (Pink Floyd’s The Endless River, in case you are interested), and get some preparation completed for tomorrow, so that I am already set up and ready to go in the morning, and am able to focus on helping my students rather than just getting by.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be better. I will have had a better night’s sleep, will be better prepared and in a much calmer place mentally, ready to get on with another day’s teaching and learning.
As always, thank you for reading, and please, if you have any particular strategies that you find useful for dealing with and/or recovering from bad days, leave a note in the comments.
EDIT: Tuesday and then today have been much better, both temperature and pedagogically.