Sometimes there are days when you feel very small. Like nothing you do is really making a difference. You reach the point where you wonder if you are just bad at the thing you are doing.
I tell my students that no one is good at something the first time they try it. But my job isn’t simple math. It isn’t adding fractions. My job is make sure kids learn what they need to at age 10 to survive at age 11 so that can survive at all other ages. It isn’t even about being successful in their careers at this point. Yes, they will need these skills in their jobs but more importantly they will need these things just to be a person.
If I can’t do this right the first time I don’t get another chance to. Not for these kids. Maybe next years but for the ones I have now if I fail them I fail them and there’s no going back. It makes me feel small. I can’t really change things for them.
If 78% of your students fall below the rest of the grade level, does that mean you can do this job? Does that mean you should?