Monday, October 26, 2009

low thoughts.

I am feeling a little low lately. I have had two evaluations happen the last week, in both my teaching life and my performing life. Both were good. Both were not horrible. But, I am still doing something that I tend to not usually do with my teaching, and often do with my performing:

Over-analyze.

The teaching scenario involves a normal procedure for non-professional educators: the standard observation. My school has them 4 times a year. FOUR. They are really watching me like a hawk. I cannot make one step without them knowing. But...at least they care, unlike the last district I was in.

Anyway, I had my second observation a week ago monday, and the post-observation the following wednesday. My principal is wonderful...I really do like him. He is new this year, and he is super supportive and firm in his opinions yet gentle in his delivery. The thing I am having trouble with is his assessment of my lessons and procedures, partially because I am not as well-versed in procedure and assessment as I should be, and partially because I have never had someone care enough to give me actual criticism on my teaching. Music doesn't tend to rank high on an administrative's list of "fix this now." Mostly because there is a little thing called MCAS that gets in the way and clouds all reason and opinion.

Again, ANYWAY...I digress. I was observed. And the class went well. And he told me it went well. And then proceded to give me a page (single-spaced!) full of suggestions and recommendations to employ in my classroom. I was a little disheartened...I think mostly because I tend to see those things as failures. If I had no recommendations from the principal, my delusional self would think, "They must have thought it went so well, it could not have been changed for the better!" When, in the past, it has definitely more been that they don't understand my subject and didn't know enough to criticize procedural happenings. This guy was a 5th grade teacher for 10 years, and knows his teaching strategies backwards and forwards. He is genuinely wanting to be a help to us teachers in the district, and even shared with me that many times when he had been observed in years past, he would be frustrated by a lack of suggestions from the administrator. I know this is his angle. I know he means it as a good thing, and not to be taken as criticism. But I am most definitely feeling low and humbled and like I can't teach very well. Or at least, not as well as he would see me teach.

Singing, as you can see from previous posts, is going well. But, I am questioning my confidence...is it valid? Is anyone's confidence truly valid? There are myriads of great singers out there...am I delusional for thinking I can actually sing well enough to get parts and not just be in the chorus? I don't want to be too prideful, but on the flip side, I feel like I have been unconfident with my singing for so long in my life, that to actually have confidence the last few years has been enlightening and helped me start to use my talent. I don't know where the balance is sometimes. I really don't want to be a diva, but am afraid of inevitably becoming one.


I know God would not want that.


Lord, give me clarity. These two fields of study are difficult and full of egos. Please help me check mine and submit to Your desire. Help me to trust Your observations and knowledge of me, instead of flying at every whim of human fancy. Help me to find the truth that is spoken and sift the chaff. Thank You for Your consistency and unending love. Thank You for bringing me to Yourself.


Amen.


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