The hardest thing to teach is to deal with this:
There is never enough.
There is never enough time. There are never enough resources. There is never enough of you.
As a teacher, you know what you have to do to make the class perfect. You know the tasks that you must put. You know the recommendations you should give to students. You know what you have to contribute to the formation of each individual. You know all the material and content that you should offer. You know how, when a pedagogically profitable moment arises, you receive it with a smile and loose everything so that it grows and flourishes.
You know all this, but you also have to do calculations. 110 essays on the vision of death in the romantic period for 15 minutes to write in each well-reasoned comments are ... Wait, wait, what? CAN NOT BE. Yes, more language tests to see how the grammar and put some remedy before preparing the final examination of the unit (with five minutes to evaluate each). Sure, all this before Chris made that comment about Poe that gave us the perfect opportunity to talk about Gothic influence, and before Alex and Pat started a good debate about Gothic influences today. I know that if I want my students to write well, they should write something at least once a week. But if I'm going to prepare them for real life,
If you are going to take control of your professional life, you have to make some difficult and deliberate decisions. What do I know what I should be doing and what I'm not going to do?
Every year, you do it better. You do it faster, learn tricks, learn where you can cut safely. You predict better the bumps that students can find along the way. A good administrative team can be very helpful.
Every day you have to prioritize. You will have to choose the battles, and you will always be chased by the things you know you should have done and not done. Tell me the name of a teacher who thinks he has everything under control and does not need to change anything for next year, and I'll tell you he's a terrible teacher. The best teachers I have met can give you an accurate list of what they do not do well.
And not everyone can cope. A few years ago I had a classmate who was great at teaching. But she did all the homework she thought she should, and once, during the exam period, she spent a whole day, for 18 hours, sitting at home editing edits. It was incredible, but he had to give up the teaching, because prioritizing broke his heart.
Therefore, if you knock on my door saying: "You have received a packet from the Pearson publishing house, open it, take the materials, read the script and meet the established schedule daily, if you do, your class will work perfectly". I will look into your eyes and ask you: "Are you smoking, are you stupid or both at the same time?"
Here you have the metaphor of the day.
Teaching is like painting a huge Victorian mansion. But you do not have enough paint. And when you get somewhere in the house, it turns out that the wood is damaged and can not be painted directly. And every hour a supervisor arrives and asks you to go down the stairs and tell him why you do not progress more quickly. And some days, a terrible time ago. So you take all your art, and your skills and your experience to do a work with which the house ends in good condition.
And where do we place the reformers of the school here? They are those who tell you that using a ladder makes you a lazy person, and that you should work without it. They are those who take part of your painting every day to use it as a test on deteriorated wood, just to make sure that the painting is worth (of course, but now you have fewer resources). Are those who come after having finished the work and say to pedestrians: "You see how well that part has been? Well, it's because my instructions have been followed." And, especially, they are those who, once the work has been completed, say: "Hey, you've left that piece unpainted right there, on that end."
There is not much debate about this problem of the insufficient . The professors of the movies and of the TV never think about it (those only teach a class a day). And the teachers hate to bring it up because we know it sounds like a whimsical complaint.