If there is one thing we know about teaching, perfection is unattainable.
There’s not much point chasing it because it doesn’t exist. Pretty much in the same way that the Ofsted grade ‘outstanding’ simply doesn’t exist. You might have a ‘cracking’ lesson but it won’t be outstanding. If it helps you to think it was then fine but that’s a bar set by an imperfect system that operates in a broken one.
Does that mean we just thrown in the teacher towel and hope the bell rings? No way. It just means being realistic that you are going to have some good lessons and some ropey ones too.
In fact, teaching reliably hands you lemons on a weekly basis, daily if you are really unlucky.
So, if you get lemons, what do you do? Bingo, you make lemonade.
I’ve seen lots of my colleagues drag themselves into the staffroom after a ‘lesson from hell’ and they then let it spoil the rest of the day. I know, I’ve done it myself. It can make you bitter without support and a positive mindset.
Yet, it is also possible to salvage something from even the worst lesson and with some ‘left-field’ thinking, you can actually make sweet, sparkling lemonade and get things back on track.
Necessity is the mother of invention and if there is one thing teachers are awesome at doing and that is improvising and getting out of a hole. When a lesson is full of lemons then its a challenge but with resourcefulness and determination to make it a success then you can still make something of it.
How we respond is everything and as teachers we have to respond with positivity and energy and respond to what ever a lesson throws at us.
Lessons are always messy and sometimes bitter learning experiences. They can also be full of lemonade and full of fizz.
For a different take on ‘when life gives you lemons’ then take a look at this video: