I understand the need to change, and I recognize the ways in which public education is failing our students. I write about what must be done, and I talk about the reforms that are needed. But, when I step back into my classroom, I freeze up. I think of all the obstacles that get in the way of better lessons. I get frustrated about the inadequate resources and the limited time that I have to plan and assess.
And, at least half the time, what actually happens in my classroom is not nearly as progressive and powerful as most people who know me would expect. I fall short of the expectations that I put forth for the world of education. And the reason for this failure is simple:
I’m not ready.
I want my teaching to be more student-centered and more project-based, but I can’t even wrap my head around the time and effort (and mental re-tooling) that would be needed to get there. I get “teacher’s block” and end up falling back on the practices that I started my career with. I fail.
And this is a scary thing for me. I resent my own deficiences and want to improve upon them, so I guess that’s a good start. But it doesn’t do much to ease my worries for the time being. I mean, if I can’t get on board and be the teacher I need to be, how can I expect my students to join this revolution?
Do you feel this pressure? How do you deal with it?