I was a little nervous going into my 6th period class today because I knew that my principal would be in there to formally observe my co-teacher/intervention specialist, which means that he would also be informally observing me. So as class started, I was feeling a little off of my game.
Everything got off to fine beginning, but then I started to overthink what I was saying, making me trip over my words. Then multiple other things happened that threw me off even more.
First of all, my principal was sitting at my desk but I needed to be able to move my mouse to access the projector, so I had to awkwardly maneuver my way around him to get to the computer. I tried to act like this was no sweat, but then I started sweating – literally. I could feel my face starting to get red, and I knew at least my students could tell. 8th graders are pretty perceptive.
Then, of course, it was club picture day, which ended up causes a lot of interruptions. First, students from 5th period were coming back in to pick up their things after going to pictures during their class period, so a few of them kept coming in and out.
After that, the announcements came on to call other kids down to get their pictures taken, so I had to wait for that to end, then make sure all the kids left if they needed to. Annoying, I know, but I was dealing with it – just trying to let it roll off my shoulders.
And then, something happened that was the final straw. The photographer doing “candids” decided it was great idea to come into my room for 10 minutes and take pictures of my students – distracting them from my lesson. At this point, I was furious. I tried not to let it show, but I was so angry that someone was coming in my classroom, obviously interrupting my teaching. Instead of coming back later or trying to find another classroom where students were working independently, he stayed and continued to disrupt my class. I felt like I would have been rude to ask him to leave, even though he was making my job much more difficult. Dear photographer, I apologize if I may have glared at you during those moments.
Soon after the candid photo fiasco, my principal left, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to him about the class today. I think he will be understanding, but I hate for him to see anything other than my best. My intervention specialist was encouraging afterward, even though he was the one getting observed – but even he could sense that I was feeling a little crazy.
It was just frustrating because obviously this 20 minute period is not indicative of my skills as a teacher, but this is what my superiors see. I hope that they realize it was not an ideal setting for a lesson. I am embarrassed that I got so worked up and let the distractions get to me.
I hope that someday I can be the kind of teacher who can roll with anything. Today, though, I was not having it.