What Nervous People See
Are you nervous? Me, I'm nervous. I've been nervous all my life -- it's a way of life. Oh sure, I keep my nervousness in check by using all the techniques designed for nervous people. But there's only so much a gal can do.
My school district mandates that we teachers put our lesson plans online, where any parent or administrator can see them. The "coaches" review the plans and make helpful suggestions, also online where any parent or administrator can see.
When the day's lesson meets with approval, it gets a yellow star. When the day's lesson is not approved, it gets a button like Exhibit A:
Can you imagine being a nervous person, and opening your lesson plans online, and seeing this image? No? Lucky you, to be not-nervous!
As for me, I open my online lesson plans, that any administrator or parent can see, I get a glimpse of Exhibit A, and to me it looks like:
YOU. HAVE. SINNED!
PACK YOUR BAGS, YOU'RE FIRED!
WE HATE YOU, MORON!
DO WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION NOW? BECAUSE YOU SUCK!
I know, I know. I'm over-reacting. My gentle teacher coaches didn't design the web site. I'm sure if they had, they would recall being teachers of sensitive students who would be so crushed to see something like this on their work. No doubt this online lesson plan site was designed by computer geeks who never got a red mark on anything they ever turned in to a teacher or a coach, forever and ever in their lives.
And just like any put-upon student who gets a paper doused in red ink, I have a worthy excuse. I repeated the same lesson three times in the plans ... because I was out with the influenza for three days the prior week and couldn't get to it. So online, it looks like I was teaching the same lesson two weeks running. Duly noted with an angry red dot, without checking my absenteeism of the prior week.
I would laugh this off, except parents can see my plans. And so can the people who will be armed with the draconian tenure-crushing evaluation tools.
If I could get hold of those website creators, I would
Yes! Let's let Fintan, the gentle Salmon of Wisdom, kindly point out our minor errors, having first (being a Fish of Great Wisdom) ascertained, by conversing with us, that the errors were, indeed, errors.
Ahhhh. Just bringing Fintan in here makes me feel so much better! He reminds me that a wise person does not get riled up by red buttons. He steadies my nerves. Well, at least he tries.