Concession - The act of conceding or yielding.
1. I can only control what happens in my classroom
The social aspects of school life dominate the hallways and it is going to follow students into the classroom regardless of how prepared I am. Girls will cry about a boy, boys will argue about sports teams. And both of these things will interrupt my plans.
2. There will be bad days
I am allowed to have a bad day, and so are my students. I am not allowed to take it out on my students (although I'm sometimes tempted to make them the proverbial dog that gets kicked), and they shouldn't take it out on me either.
3. Technology is going to fail
The general rule with technology is that when it decides to get sick, it doesn't hiccup. It projectile vomits. When you hand 30 students each a laptop, something is going to go wrong.
4. There will be days with no lesson plans
It's okay to show a movie. It's okay to schedule work days. It's okay to edit and revise. All within moderation, and all at appropriate times.
5. Some kids have more important things to worry about than my homework
I had a student in my room a few years ago that lived in a mobile home that didn't have running water. I have several kids (that I know of) this year whose families have had to answer to CPS. These kids have bigger problems than memorizing poetic devices for my quiz on Friday, and it's just not realistic to think that should be a priority to them.
6. Regardless of my expectations, my students are still just kids
I wrote this blog post about this earlier (which, incidentally, got me thinking about this list.)
7. There is going to be a student in my room that I dislike
I'm a pretty easy guy to get along with, but in life I accept that there will people whose personalities clash with my own. In the real world, I ignore the people. But in the classroom, they are still my students – and they can't be treated any differently.
8. Lessons will not go as planned
I openly admit to my 1st period class that they are the guinea pigs. What I do 1st period and what I do 9th are usually different. Good teachers don't stay the course – they compensate for pot holes and detours along the way.
9. Grades aren't everything
This goes not only for teachers, but for students and parents too. I had a message on my school voice mail last quarter from a parent demanding to know why his daughter's grade dropped from a 96 to a 94. It's the journey that's important, not the destination, right?
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