I was chatting to a colleague the other day who started teaching around the same time as me. Relative newbies. We spoke about the predictable end-of-termitis which infects learning institutions wholesale in the final weeks of term. We reminisced like veterans about our earliest days of teaching. Faking confidence. Failing. Crying in the storeroom. Crying in front of the children. In the first term. THE FIRST TERM!
As tired as we are now (it is September) we are a little pleased with ourselves at seeing our teacher wisdom blossom over time. We're getting somewhere, slowly.
Teaching is trial and error. There's no replacement, no alternative than direct experience no matter how much you read or pinterest or even just plan. It's a bit like those cake fail memes. You see an idea that just seems so great, so charming, so infallible. You prep, you get pumped up, you go in there feeling like Princess Teacher with a million teacher bucks in your pocket ... and within minutes your idea and preparations, time, dignity and probably valuable resources are a total fiasco. How did it sink and get burnt and be raw all at the same time? Because like cake-baking, executing a teaching idea is a context-specific piece of weird magic. That's why.
Here's to newbie teachers, the wisdom of hindsight and the companiable, jaw-clenching certainty that many more failures lie before us.
A daunted but determined teacher irons out the creases of her brain.