Yup, Teachers Fail Too: A Letter to My Students

Photo Credit: young_einstein
Photo Credit: young_einstein

Word of the Week: Failed.

New Year’s Resolution: Failed.

I didn’t plan on purposely failing my New Year’s Resolution, to blog daily, the same week that the adjective for our class blogging word of the week challenge was “failed.” It was merely a poetic twist of fate. I had all intent to fully commit to my goal, to stay up late in the night if needed, quoting Shakespeare and sharing my wondrous wisdom (sarcasm) with the world. Unfortunately, need for sleep and my obsession with spotlighting the WA English Blog to the masses won out over sheer desire, and I haven’t actually submitted a true blog post – until now – in about 10 days.

I am typically not one to make resolutions, and – never one to be cliche-  if I do make them, I follow them.   But this was something I really wanted to do.  I had committed to this challenge so that you, my precious students, could see that I believed in the value of blogging and to show you that even English teachers can grow from continued practice. Now, don’t think that my failure is an escape from your monthly blogging assignments, and that I am going to come in to class and say, you know what, this blogging isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.  I’m not.  I still LOVE blogging and am amazed at the work you have produced.  And even if you aren’t admitting it to me, I know that many of you really enjoy it too. Instead, I  am writing because I want you to realize something about failure – if we don’t fail, we don’t grow.  OK, sometimes I enjoy a good cliche.

I now realize that my goal was too lofty, that I do not have the time or energy to commit to blogging every day.  I also know that in trying to write daily, I was struggling to find things to write about, and, as a result, the quality of my posts was not as I would have wished.  But I also let you down in the process because this is something I wanted you to see me do.  Perhaps I made a little “Jerry” mistake – you know, our buddy from The Chocolate War.   Perhaps I didn’t really think about my decision before I committed to it and by going in blindly, I set myself up for failure. I realize, now, after the fact, like Jerry did, that I made a mistake.  But unlike Jerry, I am not giving up.  What fun is that? And what kind of teacher would I be then?!?!  So instead, I am re-evaluating my goal and thinking about how I can make it happen.

My new goal is simply to try and blog each day, to at least think about it.  If I can think of something to write about, I will.  If I can’t, I won’t force it.  Each night, before I shut my computer down to do a little leisurely reading – who am I kidding,  if it’s Tuesday, I’m watching Dance Moms – I am going to sign on to my blog and see what comes of it.

There might be days when I post five times and days when I don’t post at all.  Maybe I’ll get to 365 posts by the end of the year.  Maybe I won’t.  I do know that this is an approach I can handle and that I will both grow as a teacher and an individual from doing so.  

In the past, I might have let my failure get me down.  It would explain the 8 blogs I have attempted and since deleted – one post does not a blog make.  But not this time.  Not with you watching.   This time it is going to help me succeed, which is what I hope for all your future failures.

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