I team-taught with a very nice person during my student teaching experience. She was a pleasure to work with and wanted to be a teacher above all else but unfortunately didn’t find out until student teaching that kids often don’t do what you want or want what you do. She worked hard at learning to be a good teacher but was unable to emotionally accept that sometimes your best efforts in the classroom come up empty and your lessor efforts for some reason strike a chord and sing. Although it sounds harsh and perhaps not politically correct I believe that she was too kind to be a good teacher. She loved kids too much and kids being the naturally selfish, me first people that they often are had hurt her emotionally and strained her self-confidence more than once during the semester we worked together.
It was close to the end of our student teaching and she was making bread with her students as the culminating activity of a very creative lesson she had developed on microorganisms. Every teacher learns that on some days you have to just grab a hold of your classroom and ride it out until the end of the day. This was one of those days the kids were wildly inattentive, disrespectful and just plain blew off both her and her very well presented, meaningful and skillfully planned lesson(a lesson which I continued to use for years).
At the end of the lesson the students had left the room laughing and joking while she was left silently clutching with both hands the corners of the flour covered table, arms spread wide. Her shoulders were rounded and her chin was down against the top of her smiley face apron as a wisp of floury hair fell loose on one side. When I tried to comfort her, I was too young and too inexperienced to know exactly what to say, she raised her head slightly and as I watched a single tear traced a path through the flour smudge on her cheek to the end of her teaching career.