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I imagine that we've all had days when things just seem to be "off"--and Jill,
I commend you on being so honest about the tough times that you face and that
some days situations are handled not exactly how you wish. I also appreciate
your honesty to openly question what it is that you're doing, and to invite us
to engage in dialogues about your challenges.
In my opinion, it seems important to question ourselves as educators every
day, not only on the days that seem to go sour. Because even on days when we
say "yeah! THAT was a great day!" it can be crucial to examine exactly what
made it great... and then perhaps to consider how to make tomorrow even
better. We all want (and need!) to be able to pat ourselves on the back, and
even to have others give us positive acknowledgement. What appears to be a
success to the teacher, however, may be seen or experienced quite differently
by the student.
As Bill Readings said, "...teaching is always a practice...: we must seek to
do justice to teaching rather than to know what it is (and, in fact, a belief
that we know what teaching is or should be is a major impediment to just
So perhaps we can remember that as "practicing educators" we can--and indeed
should--consider new theories, experiment with new methods, learn from our
experiences today, and apply our evolving knowledge tomorrow.
Elizabeth B. Reese