Please, please tell me that not everybody is perfect and I'm not the only person who doesn't always have a starter, plenary, all-singing and dancing kind of lesson.
I was visited by another teacher today from another department. Thanks to timetabling tangles, I teach a few lessons outside of my subject specialism. It's not like I know nothing about this other subject: I've taught it on and off for many a year now and I'm qualified in the subject up to a high level. But obviously, in a new school, they do things differently, and alongside everything else that's new and slightly confusing at times, I'm dealing with teaching this other subject with not much guidance at all, apart from my own stack of resources and experience. For a start, the department might as well be on the other side of town to where my classroom is. Location isn't that important though: only this afternoon I was thinking about how I hadn't seen one member of my department, who teaches next door but one, for about three weeks.
But anyway, I have seen teachers from this other new department about four times since I started and then only in passing. But then today the head of department decided to drop in to see how I'm doing. My classes' books were scrutinised, and I had a round of rapid fire questions about what I've been doing. And then, like a magician who has been hiding the top hat, this teacher suddenly pulled out a white rabbit in the shape of a child's book from a previous year. "Ta-da! Now this is how you should have been doing it for the past few weeks." Gee, thanks. And you didn't show me this before because...?
So the whole exercise just made me feel like crap. I'd been doing alright, but it just wasn't the right type of alright. My starters were the wrong flavour, and I'd marked in the wrong colour. Pah. I just wished I'd been asked the right types of questions. Were the children enjoying the subject? Yes. Were we adhering to the national curriculum and its latest incarnation of levels etc etc? Yes. Was I differentiating for the enormous range of abilties in my groups? Yes. I'm not saying I didn't learn anything from this brief visit, because it did make me rethink one of the tasks we had done, but it just reinforces the fact that in teaching you are never ever right. You can never reach nirvana. You are a mere cockroach who keeps coming back for more shit.
Happy weekend. :-)