September 10, 2010

Teachable Moments - Teachers Are People Too

Wednesday, September 9, 2010 I had a four period day, which means that I teach four out of the five periods of the day. On a regular day I teach three out of five, so four period days always make me a bit more strained and I am exhausted at the end of them. This semester my schedule includes two four period days in the eight day rotation, and this week they happened on Monday and Wednesday. I arrived at school yesterday ready for four periods of teaching about multiplication and division with negative numbers, but also looking forward to my one prep period - during third hour.

So I arrive at school with the idea that I have third hour prep and I never really bothered to look at my schedule to confirm this. I have been teaching at this school for a year, so I have the schedule down.


Third hour I am running around our very large campus talking to various colleagues and taking care of business at the copier, etc. Twenty minutes into third hour I run into my principal walking through a high school block.

"Kristin - did you know you have class right now?"
"Whaaaaaaat? This my prep hour."
"Well, there are 20 kids in your classroom right now who have class."

[Insert image of me running down the hill toward my classroom, red-faced, embarrassed and feeling like a complete fool. Unfortunately no one captured this image live, but you can only imagine how I looked.]

I run into my classroom to the sounds of section 8B laughing hysterically at my mistake. It took me about five minutes of incoherent rambling and apologizing to get my bearings and calm down enough to actually teach anything about math. My students were of course more than understanding and said it was "the best class ever" (probably because they missed half of it!) and "everyone makes mistakes". At the end of the hour I finished the discussion of multiplication and division, and then ended by saying "So today we learned about operations with negative numbers and that teachers are people too."

I still feel incredibly embarrassed about the whole situation, because I consider myself a pretty professional person in the work place and this basically shoots my credibility in the foot. However, my principal and everyone else he had to recruit to help look for me were all more than understanding and forgiving. If nothing else, I guess this experience is a good reminder that everyone messes up sometimes and we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.

And no, I will not be lecturing 8B about responsibility any time soon. Thanks.

1 comment:

Grady said...

Kristin, I too take my job seriously, especially the punctuality side of things. Last week I had a similar stumble. I knew I had history class but I forgot my binder which reminds (every day I might add!) which classroom I am supposed to be in... Of course I arrived well late and my students were well pleased with their teacher's tardiness.

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