Lesson Plans Gone Wrong...it's going to be okay

When lesson plans go wrong you just feel bad. 

BUT--let’s just take a moment and raise a toast for those horrible lessons and give them their deserved credit. Give thanks to those lessons and times when nothing works except throwing it all out and burning it in a dumpster.  

Let’s face it, these happen all the time (whether we want to admit it or not). We can’t always have the perfect Pinterest lessons, though we try.  Some lessons just suck. For whatever reason they do. It could be us. It could be the students. It could be the topic. It could be the full moon with a holiday party on a Friday afternoon and the kids have had indoor recess all week. Who knows?

We all have lessons we **think** the kids are going to love or an activity that will just blow there mind. And it doesn’t. Or it’s a concept that they just can’t figure out (improper fractions, anyone).

Let’s talk about the levels of frustration:

Level 1: Denial: You tell yourself, "My students will know/like/love this. We got this." 
No, you really don’t.

Level 2: Confusion: Confusion sets in as denial creeps away from your existence. The internal struggle is real. You wonder, sometimes out loud, "what is going on? Where am I?"

Level 3: I Can’t Even: The mental block that paralyzes your body and mind, while crushing your soul. You answer all student questions with “well, what do you think it should be?” At this point students begin to comfort you with pep talks, a cup of warm milk, and an a cappella version of "Shake It Off."

Level 4: Dumpster Fire: All is lost. You SCRAP the lesson, throw it out, set it on fire (figuratively, c’mon), and return to class.

Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad lessons can actually be your best friend (if you let them). Here’s why:

We can use them to reflect on our own practices and how we work with our kids. A horrible lesson doesn’t mean anything more or anything less—it just means we find a different approach to meet our student’s learning needs.

It Pushes Us To Be Better
If you’re fine with horrible lessons…then you might have a problem. If you want to get better, you’re going to work multiple angles and find out how to be better. It’s pretty simple.

Kids See The Real World
I will scrap my lessons right in the middle of a class if my students don’t get it. Then I’ll tell them why. Students need to see that there’s really not such a thing as perfection when it comes to teaching (or the real world). Mistakes happen, but how we deal with them is more important.

There’s Always Tomorrow: The students will always come back the following day. We ALL get to try it again.

More Reason for  Collaboration: If I mess up, I’m going to ask a colleague (in school/online/etc) what they do (or how they do it). Don’t wallow in your own crabbiness. Collaborate, share, and find a little help.

I say EMBRACE the reality that we’re going to have great lessons and that we're definitely going to have some horrible ones. It’s okay. You’re okay. I’m okay.

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