Number Five – Goal 5: Reflect, Step Back, Act – The 30 Goals Challenge

On to the fifth challenge – what to do when things do not go as expected in the class. It can be one if those days and it can be frustrating as well.

  • You have planned what you think is a super lesson. For one reason or another, it goes completely the opposite way and leaves your students uninterested and you upset and thinking: what went wrong? Sometimes what we educators think might be interesting for the students, may not be or it just may not work. What I do when this happens is I talk to my students, regardless of their age. I ask them what they did not like, what they found difficult or what they would like to be done differently next time. All this certainly¬†taking into consideration their needs as well! Please do not forget that it can happen and has happened to everyone. I know of not one educator who has not had a day like this at school. The thing is to try to improve constantly and reflect on what went wrong and how you can change it the next time.
Talk to someone if something goes wrong.
  • Speak to someone about it, preferably your employer, a colleague or your mentor – someone whose opinion you know will be honest and no matter what it is, will not be meant to put you down or make you feel worse and not find a solution. Talk to them and tell them what you had originally planned, how the students responded. Perhaps they will think of something you had not noticed or even give you tips on how to do it differently next time.
  • Keep a journal, paper or electronic. Put the lesson in there with comments, how it went, responses and so on. This way you can keep a record of your lessons and re-visit some other day, perhaps even with a solution! I try to come back to small issues later and usually I have a clearer head and can perhaps find the answer to my questions.

As long as teachers know they are there to try their best, it is ok and normal for things to go wrong in class. There are solutions and things can only get better!

6 thoughts on “Number Five – Goal 5: Reflect, Step Back, Act – The 30 Goals Challenge

  1. Hello Vicky!

    What a reflective post! It’s true what you say, many times we do our best for our classes to be successful but the opposite can happen for different reasons. As you’ve mentioned, speaking to the students is a great idea so that adjustments are made and we adapt our lessons to our students’ tastes, likes and dislikes.

    1. Hi Marisa!

      Thank you so much for your comment – I am glad you liked the post : )

      You said the correct word: adapt – educators must always keep this in mind, they should tailor the lessons to their students’ needs.

      Many many thanks, Marisa! Vicky

  2. Being aware of the situation you described and the knowledge that it happens and you can get past it, can make the teacher more sensitive / understanding when a student has a bad day!
    Great post!

  3. I like the idea of keeping a journal about what issues came up. That can be helpful when revisiting the lesson for future use. I have to admit that I rarely write notes to myself about what didn’t go accordingly to plan, probably partially due to laziness, but also do to some (lofty) expectation that I’ll use these opportunities to create on-the-spot improvisation.

    1. Hi Tyson!

      Thanks for the comment – writing it down helps me a lot, first of all I get it out of my system (ha ha!). But sometimes I write the good ones as well, to reflect on what works best (and to keep them for the future!). I must admit to not being a diligent writer either, sometimes. There are so many things to do, preparation, marking and such…but at least we try!

      Thanks Tyson! Vicky

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