Blah Days

By Zoe R.
Colorful collaged handwritten sign reading "Celebrate Being You!"

Blah Days

I am an art teacher in an elementary school for students with different learning needs. My students range in age from 3 years old (pre-K) to 10 years old (5th grade). As part of my professional development each year a supervisor comes into my classroom to observe me teaching a lesson. Generally, I don’t know when he or she will show up for an observation, so when they walk into my room to do one, I am suddenly nervous. Of course I want to be on my game and do my very best: Instantaneous internal pressure!

This past spring I had a surprising observation made by my instructional coach, Jennifer*. To my disappointment, she showed up on one of my “blah” days. I was feeling lackluster and just couldn’t raise the energy to be as peppy as I thought I should be.

When Jennifer came in, I did my best to deliver my instructions to the kids smoothly, communicate clearly but, in my opinion, I did just “Okay” at best.

The following day, during my free period, Jennifer came to my room and we met. My first thought was, Breathe Zoe. You know this will be mediocre. Brace yourself. It won’t be so bad. Was I in for a surprise!

“Zoe, I really enjoyed your lesson and how the kids were so engaged.” Jennifer said.

“There was a calm energy in the classroom, it felt like a safe, relaxed, and creative space.”

As we continued to chat about my class Jennifer even let me know that she found the lesson so interesting, that she spent some time researching the artist I had been teaching about because she wanted to learn more.

I was so surprised to get such good feedback because I had been feeling really flat that day, and I felt like the lesson was just “blah”.

Later that night, I discussed the feedback with my boyfriend, Austin. His take on the situation surprised me again: “Maybe you don’t realize how great even your ‘blah’ lessons are.”

I heard what he had to say and it felt true.

I think it’s true for all of us – even on an apparently blah day you are someone’s inspiration and beacon of possibility.

Just wanted to share this win with you all – I wouldn’t be the teacher that I am without this community.

Lots of love, Zoe

*Jennifer is not her real name.

Colorful collaged handwritten sign reading "Celebrate Being You!"

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