My Lesson Plan is Not Working, Kids Are Not Learning, I Am Freaking Out!

Every Classroom Matters Episode 186

Here's to you overloaded, exhausted, overworked teachers. Everyone is heaping guilt trips and criticism on you. But then, it happens. You look up and your classroom is in chaos.

My lesson plan is not working, kids are not learning - what do you do?

The lesson completely falls apart. Nothing works. Confusion builds. You realize that the kids are not learning because something messed it all up. And now, you're criticizing yourself. STOP IT! It happens to all of us teachers. So, what do you do when this happens to you?

In today's episode, we don't hand out guilt — we don't even hand out all the answers. Two teachers talk about dealing with the days when disaster shows up while we're teaching. If you're perfect, don't listen to this show – it isn't for you. But if you struggle, let's talk about how we cope and come through it as a better teacher.

Last time I talked with Alicia Roberts, it was THE worst day of my teaching career. That candid conversation, What I Learned from the Worst Day of my Teaching Career, has become one of the most downloaded episodes in the history of Every Classroom Matters. So, we decided to have another conversation about our struggles.

Enough of Pollyanna-everything-is-fine teacher stuff — lots of times everything ISN'T fine. Let's get real. And if it is ok with you, let's get a little bit vulnerable and acknowledge that more of us have this problem than may care to admit it. Teacher, I admire you so much. We will get through this. You can do it. 

Anyone who thinks failure is a weakness is no one worth worrying about. Alicia Roberts

Anyone who thinks failure is a weakness is no one worth worrying about. Alicia Roberts

My lesson plan is not working, Kids are not learning, I am freaking out!

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Tips for minimizing teacher stress

  • Discover 10 stress-busting secrets for healthy teachers. What simple routines will help you handle the stress?
  • Simple advice for coping with stress at work.
  • Learn tips to help you deal with difficult colleagues and students (even those who "hate" you -- yes it is possible!)
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5 thoughts on “My Lesson Plan is Not Working, Kids Are Not Learning, I Am Freaking Out!

  1. I hear you when you talk about things not working!! I feel at times when I have prepared to the max, nothing goes right and I end up saying a pray to make things go somewhat right. Wing and a pray, Right!! But it seems that no matter how much you worry and fret, things go okay and the kids walk out with something. It my not be much that day, but I always try to have the attitude that tomorrow is a new day and a change to make it right and do better. A good night sleep sometimes does wonder to the body and refreshing the mind! On ward and up ward is my motto most days, not always. But thank you for the words of encouragement that there are days that there will be failures. That makes us human and we are able to trudge on and inspire tomorrow and make that ever difference that we are striving for in a student’s life.

    • Awesome Christy! I say onwards and upwards all the time too! We have so much in common! I totally get and agree with all of your words! Thanks for sharing them with so many of us who feel this way!!

  2. No doubt, being a good teacher is not an easy task. Some are naturally talented for this task while several others are not. Nevertheless, teaching is a noble profession. But how many of us really recognize it?
    Best wishes for your dedicated efforts in this field!

  3. This was great! I’m in currently in grad school working towards becoming a teacher and these thoughts are always running through my head. It’s easy to practice your lessons in font of other classmates when they are conscious of the situation but it is much harder to prepare for the real situation. It is good to know that practicing teachers have these same obstacles and are able to push through.