Don't believe everything you see on the internet
Sharing a fail once in a while reminds us that we are all real teachers and human beings that are engaging in a struggle to be better today than we were yesterday; sometimes learning is messy.
I do believe that sharing the positive is a good thing, but why do I feel like sharing that sometimes my efforts fail is a negative thing to be sharing? No one wants to read blog posts about how awful your class was, or how unsupported you are by administrators, parents, or coworkers. I want to be uplifted and inspired. I share my successes because I want to put positive things out into the "Twitterverse", but every attempt does not have a successful result. Sharing failures isn't a negative thing, we can grow from it, and sometimes it is nice to know that you aren't alone.
*My students are always highly engaged in my creative lessons.*
#Realtalk: Some of my students try to "roast" other students who are really into what we are working on so that they will feel silly or uncool for singing along with the parody music video about history that we are watching. I continuously try to come up with new lessons that incorporate memes, rap battles, selfies, whatever I can think of to get everyone engaged in learning, but I don't always reach everyone. Some of my students prefer workbooks and spelling packets and are very resistant to lessons that I think they will find engaging.
*My students create the most amazing videos, songs, sketchnotes, etc.*
#Realtalk: I share the best examples of student work when blogging or tweeting a lesson idea that I tried in my class. Not every project was amazing. Some of my students don't do any work and their only goal in working on projects seems to be keeping everyone else from completing their tasks.
*I know what I'm talking about.*
#Realtalk: I like to question things. Why am I giving homework? What is the purpose of AR (Accelerated Reader)really? Do grades even really matter? I like why. Why pushes me to rethink traditional practices and try new things that may be more effective. I am a risk taker. But sometimes change is hard. Sometimes the pushback is too great and I begin to doubt if I am doing the right thing until I give in and revert back to the comfort of tradition. This happened for me with a new grading philosophy I tried out last year. I ended up with a blended model of traditional grades with student reflection and input.
*I have great relationships with all of my students.*
#Realtalk: My ability to empathize and reflect on where my students are coming from and what motivates them to behave the way that they do is one of my better qualities as a teacher. I also do genuinely care for all of my students and want the absolute best for them. I work really hard to have relationships with all of my students, but sometimes I fail to connect with all of them. Sometimes I get frustrated with them. I forget to think about the motivation behind their behavior and what the best response would be, and I react instead. (P.S. Mindfulness training really helps with this-on both ends.)
#Realtalk requires a level of vulnerability that can exist in a classroom or a PLC, where there is trust. It's not something I see a lot of on social media. I had to think about this all day before clicking the "POST" button. There is a fine line between #realtalk and being negative, or worse... oversharing. Sharing a fail once in a while reminds us that we are all real teachers and human beings that are engaging in a struggle to be better today than yesterday.