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Small Victories

Sometimes I ask myself . . .

. . . what’s more important?

This applies to a lot of things in life.  Obviously, it shouldn’t be taken as concrete life advice, especially from someone like myself, but I’ve been asking myself this question quite a bit lately.

You see, building a classroom culture or climate is always a struggle.  For myself, I think I’ve lucked out more often than not through the years.  I’ve been blessed by having a few great classrooms, especially in terms of the “community” we try to build.  It’s always great to walk into a classroom and just have it feel “right,” knowing that whatever you’re going to teach that day is going to flow and do so beautifully.

Of course, it doesn’t happen all the time.

You’ll have your “rough” days, where it feels like an invisible wall that conveniently places itself right in front of you, teasing and frustrating you to no end.  For some reason, it made me think of this scene today:

(Yes, it does worry me a little that I’m at the end of the second week and already compare the experience to “hitting the wall.”)

You’ll have those days where it often feels “wrong,” especially when it comes to the actual content, knowing that some of the students aren’t getting your best.  Honestly, that’s one of the worst feelings to experience.

This year, so far, we’ve had more “rough” days than good.

As I said before, this class is taking longer to adapt to the vision I always try to create for the classroom.  I know they’re still on their way.  Honestly speaking, this is perhaps the longest I’ve had a class not get to that “level” that I always seek for ourselves.  Am I disappointed by this?  Frustrated?  Driven to the point of buying a new bottle of Scotch?

Yes, yes, and no.  Well . . . I’ll just buy the Scotch anyway just because I enjoy it!

Anyway, despite the frustration, despite the lack of “speed” in which I hoped they would pick up the classroom climate, there are always the small victories, the tiny shifts of momentum that gain a positive force.  I saw students slowly pick up the ideas I talk about constantly in the classroom, the idea of consideration to others, to help our fellow students when they need the help.

They’re getting there.  I just have to be patient.  I have to believe this class will build itself into something more than even they thought possible.  As I said above about the video, it does worry me (just a little) that I’m already thinking I’ve hit a wall.

But I also realize, I know I’m going to keep on going.  Just like Simon Pegg’s character in the video.

So what’s more important?

That I keep on going with the vision I have in mind.  I’m sure I’ll adapt it as we go along, but the idea of consideration and community, I need to keep that as an important factors as I keep “building” this class.

In the meantime, I just have to learn to relish the small victories.  It’ll be enough to keep me going . . .

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