I remember when I first started the blog I used to write about mad Tuesday as it was a full on day with some challenging classes and end on training. Many of my Tuesday’s now are spent teaching all day but in a totally different capacity. Today made me think about my own ridiculously high expectations of people and how genuinely upset I get when they don’t meet them. Usually, a total overreaction on my part to an unrealistic expectation that someone will do what they said….
My reaction to professional disappointment is on a par with personal disappointment. I’m well aware I need to temper them both.
I remember a former line manager saying to me that he would have to let me down and not keep a promise. My reaction was to ask him to leave as I didn’t want him to see the tears and snotters. By 3pm I had figured out a way of sorting it. He asked if I had less respect for him. Honestly? I guess not. Just disappointment.
As educators we don’t take vows or promises to do our best by our children or colleagues, it is just assumed we will do that. We are in the business of educating, inspiring and encouraging, yet sometimes we struggle with that. A discussion with a professional friend left me a bit cold for the first time as at no time did they mention the impact of their work for the weans. Surely any decisions, no matter at what level, are made with the learner at the centre? Or am I setting myself up to be disappointed once again?
A very insightful student today asked me just what the role of a teacher actually is as she didn’t quite have it clarified in her head. We spoke about the different examples of teachers she knew and had worked with, we spoke about role models and who influenced us and we spoke about the need to meet learners on their road wherever they were.
We discussed how frustrating it is to see fellow professionals sell themselves and the students short and the disappointment of not being able to make enough impact in a fixed period of time. We also spoke about the promises we make to learners only to have to disappoint them too. ( often through no fault of our own)
My heart was broken twice in education, because I had to disappoint my learners and it will stay with me. The impact of letting someone down who means the world to you is hard as we all know and I know how bad I felt at having to break a promise I really thought I could keep.
If I commit to doing something, I usually try to do it whole heartedly or not at all. This encompasses teaching, learning, going for that coffee……..lukewarm doesn’t cut it. Neither does a half arsed attempt at a promise.
I look forward to not being disappointed as a profession with our national line managers. I look forward to them making informed decisions that will allow educators to maximise the teaching and learning experience. I look forward to moving forward in a climate where we do what we said we would.
Or are my ruby slippers and Pollyanna-esque expectations that people will do what they say a tad too much?
I don’t think so.