I think teaching is cyclical just like anything else: There are good days, and there are bad. Some days, you feel like you’ve accomplished a great deal; other days, you feel like you’ve failed to do your job for your students entirely. And on rarer days, you might feel both in spurts, which is precisely what I felt today.
I won’t go into details, but today had one of my worst lows of teaching. I made a mistake that I could have avoided if I had just followed my instinct, one that could potentially come back on me but hasn’t yet – and I hope to pre-emptively avoid any negative consequences. Worse, though, is the thought that I failed some of my students; that is the hardest for me to handle.
But as my co-op often tells our students – so much that they know the gesture (which is similar to an “over the top” gesture with both hands) that accompanies it! – I need to solve the problem. And I know how I can do it, I think – five years of working in a business where troubleshooting technology was one of my primary duties should give me knowledge on that.
Which brings me to my high point today: Mrs. Buske and I have not previously had good luck getting our Mimio working, the primary issue being that the stylus would give a response that would not correspond to the action. Moving the stylus straight left would move the mouse to the upper left, for instance. It was clear that the two were not relaying information in the appropriate manner. So I looked around the Mimio software and found, hidden in the settings, a button entitled “Calibrate” – bingo! That did the trick, and I was able to utilize virtually all of the functions I might need. Now that I have cleared this matter up, we can start utilizing the technology.
Of course, it won’t matter if I don’t fix bigger problems – but I think it’s okay to start with the easy things, as long as I can work toward the bigger solutions. If I can keep learning better ways to make problems disappear – for my students – then the more hope I can have of helping them all succeed. If I can solve that problem, that will make all the highs and lows worth it in the end.