"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
Wow, What an appropriate topic! I am really struggling this year. Last year it seemed everything came very natural. I don’t know if it was that I was doing something different or if the difference is the students. This year I don’t feel like I can get the students to “buy” in like last year. I won’t say last year was perfect by any means but the students really seemed “into” what I was teaching. It was like they were sponges and could not absorb enough. This year I don’t get the same vibes. I’ve left more days frustrated than I have feeling like I made a difference. I’ve done a lot of evaluating and reevaluating how I do things. I’ve still not found the solution. I’ve talked with my department head about my concerns on several occasions and she has offered support and advice. While I’m not giving up I am starting to come to the conclusion that it isn’t a reflection on my teaching but rather just a different group of students. I will continue to work to find ways to engage them but I’m trying to learn to accept that they are very different from the group I had last year. I will also focus on the positive interactions I have with them and the few students who are really interested in my subject matter and make sure they are getting the most that they can while accepting the fact that some of the students are here because they didn’t know what else to take or thought “it will be an easy A”. Being a type A person it is difficult for me to accept something like this but in the long run it is better to accept it than continue to feel frustrated, like I am not doing a good job and becoming bitter and burned out.