Teacher Fails

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherFails, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2018

    Hello all and pleased to be here!

    So I was thinking the other day that we all have stories of failures in our roles as educators. Whether you have a single bad moment (a lesson plan that just DID NOT WORK), a bad class, or a whole bad school year, we all have had failures. Of course failing is not bad, but what is bad is not learning from it.

    I think that we need to start sharing those and I want to start collecting them to do just that. My goal is to eventually have a collection of failures that shows that teacher's aren't perfect, we are just perfectly able to learn from our mistakes. What better way then to start opening sharing those stories?

    If anyone would like to share a story for a future collection (which will eventually be collected and displayed on a website I am working on) please send them to me. I plan on taking out all specific details to everything that is published so that we don't have to worry about it.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Feb 10, 2018

    Perhaps a better course of action would be to ask that your thread be pinned, if you get significant responses. I, for one, would not be too pleased to see my story taken to another website. The teachers who are interested in these learning events are familiar with this forum and these rules. Call me cautious.
     
  4. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2018

    Yeah, I think I need to work on my gathering ability a little more for sure. I'm also not sure how this is going to work out. I know that people don't like to admit their mistakes but I really think that if I had known about previous mistakes when I started teaching 20+ (that's as far as I'll go, I don't want to date myself too much) years ago I wouldn't have repeated them.

    I was talking to an older lady at a restaurant and she said she was a teacher and I ended up talking to her for over an hour. During the course of our chat she reminisced about mistakes she had made that were all mistakes that I basically did also. It was right then that I thought that I needed to collect these failures and put them somewhere so that everyone can read them, enjoy them (because some of them are funny in retrospect) and most important of all, learn from them.
     
  5. Been There

    Been There Companion

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    Feb 10, 2018

    I'm probably in the minority, but I personally think there's an overemphasis on what hasn't worked in all areas of K-12 education: the absence of effective managerial skills in principals, the decline in student behavior and ineffective classroom management, consistently low student achievement, inadequate curriculum, inadequate teacher credentialing programs, etc. There are far too few websites that address these systemic deficits and provide specific guidelines for improvement.

    I'm not particular fond of learning from other's mistakes and am not sure what I would gain from listening to anyone talk for a whole hour or even reading about their failures in the classroom. Don't you think your website would have much more value if it were to showcase teacher successes in those areas that present overwhelming challenges in the teaching profession? I would much rather learn from skilled masters of the trade who are willing to share their successful experiences with the rest of us.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  6. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2018

    That makes sense.

    However, I was thinking more 'day to day' in what doesn't work. I know there are over-arching ideas and themes that haven't worked over the years. I am more interested in the minutiae of a teacher's day and what they have learned doesn't work with their students. For instance, is there a common issue among certain types of schools (city vs rural and the like) where some things don't work out? On top of that, what are some of the funnier instances of a teacher's day just not working out the way that you had hoped?

    If my initial post came off as a more serious study then I apologize for not explaining myself fully. I wanted a lighter collection that, for instance, a new teacher who had a bad day could read through and see that everyone has been there and that it gets better.

    I've found myself sharing the same stories repeatedly to new teachers and I sort of thought that I should put them all down somewhere, if for no other reason than just to entertain other teachers and maybe even learn (or teach) something in the process.

    Like I said earlier, it's just an idea that I had. In my head, these stories and recollections would be under 2000 words. Sort of like a reader's digest version of a particular instance or day.
     
  7. Been There

    Been There Companion

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    Feb 10, 2018

    Sounds too much like what I used to hear in the teachers' lunchroom - sorry, not my cup of tea. Substitute teachers were especially good at telling their stories of misbehaving students wreaking havoc in their classrooms. I never found them to be entertaining nor educational in any way.
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2018

    I agree that I would rather read a compilation of classroom successes, maybe categorized into different areas...so that I could look up in the index something I might be struggling with and find suggestions to deal with the issue.
     
  9. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Yeah, but I'm not looking for anything so serious. Honestly, how many places can you find lists of things to do as a teacher when 'x' happens? There are about 500 blogs out there for helping teachers get better at something. I'm just wondering if it is time for something a little more relaxed and a little more fun. Let's share our failures (the funnier the better) with each other and with the world. I think that sometimes everyone gets a little too serious and this is trying to correct that.
     
  10. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2018

    I'm not thinking of anything educational. I'm thinking of something more fun. I understand it's not for everyone. I just think that sometimes we teachers (at least some of the ones I work with) get a little too serious sometimes and fail to see how special our jobs are.
     
  11. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Are you a teacher? It seems like an odd thing to be the first thing you post about on the forum.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Feb 11, 2018

    I guess I just don't think it's a funny idea.
     
  13. TeacherFails

    TeacherFails Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Yes. I have 'lurked' on here for years (I think I used to have an account which is probably dead now) and finally started a new account when I decided to try to get this project (funny/touching stories from the trenches kind of thing) going seriously.

    I've been a teacher for 20+ years. Normally I've kept to myself on message boards (I read a few others and post periodically) and not posted but figured if I was going to give this project a serious go then I would have to get out there a little more.

    I figured I have a good amount of fairly good stories about my career and figured that others probably do too and I didn't want this project to be only my point of view. I thought I would get stories from as many people as I could and compile them. I figured keeping things anonymous would help people admit any mistakes and ease trepidation about sharing.
     
  14. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Feb 11, 2018

    Could you give us one of your examples?
     
  15. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Cohort

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    Feb 11, 2018

    I think this is the ultimate teacher fail.
     
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  16. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    Feb 12, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    As a parent, most of the teacher fails I've seen just aren't funny, though I do agree that it would be a good idea for teachers to know about them.

    Is also worry that such a collection would be used ultimately to simply malign teachers.

    And honestly, you being new here and asking for this as your first post -- well, I think you need to build a level of trust first.
     
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  17. Belch

    Belch Companion

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    Feb 12, 2018 at 11:16 PM

    What I have learned is that you have maintain your calm. Never ever let things get so out of hand that you join in the melee.

    Do whatever is necessary, but always try to seem as if you are in control. We all know we don't have that control, but appearances must be maintained.
     
  18. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Feb 13, 2018 at 6:41 AM

    Sounds like one of those posts that lists Pinterest fails. What the craft is supposed to look like and then a picture of how horribly it turned out.
     
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  19. Sarah Tygert

    Sarah Tygert Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2018 at 9:58 PM

    Ha, I'm a current substitute and learned quite quickly how not entertaining my stories were. They were just me venting. As necessary as it was for me emotionally at the time (first time long term position in a inner city school), it didn't help anyone but me. I quickly found success stories to be so much more entertaining and educational, personally. Yes, there's a lot of them, but it's what we seek as educators when we want to hone our craft.

    Maybe if you hone down this idea to be a purely comical, commiseration type deal then maybe I could see it going somewhere. But I don't know about failed lesson plans. I can't see myself ever spending any time perusing a failed lesson plan in my career. I'd rather seek something that someone says work, try that, and have that fail, than spend time reading something that someone says definitely did not work for them. Just doesn't seem like something I'd spend my time on.
     
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