So as you may or may not know, we joined 2 groups, or co-ops, when we decided to homeschool. The first is run almost like a school & the moms share teaching different academic areas. It's very cool. So as part of that, I was given Native Americans to teach the littles (ages 4-7).
Now 2 other moms have gone before me with topics such as Iceland & Mexico. They had powerpoint presentations, had the kids make books comparing Norway to Iceland, awesome authentic foods to try....As an early childhood teacher, I figure I had this in the bag right?! NOT!
I don't know what happened, if I choked or what, but I felt like my lesson was an EPIC FAIL. I knew less than the other moms (and some of the kids) & I was the teacher that day! The 'lessons' I had planned either tanked or the kids flew through them. This was a lesson in humility for sure!
In my defense, Native Americans is an extremely broad topic with insane amounts of information. It is also a topic most Americans are pretty knowledgeable about, unlike Iceland or Mexico. However, I think the main problem is that I approached this EXACTLY like an early childhood teacher. I framed my lessons in the way a classroom teacher would have. However, these are homeschooled kids and this is not a classroom!
There were glimmers of hope. The kids enjoyed carving pumpkins & drawing pictures using petroglyphs - but did I use the word 'Petroglyphs'??? NO! Would you use that word in a typical kindergarten classroom? Probably not. But herein lies the problem...this is NOT a typical kindergarten classroom!
So I hang my head in shame & beat myself up over a crappy lesson. All in all, it was fine, the kids seemed interested & had some fun. I walk away a bit embarrassed & with a bruised ego. But with that comes a lesson for me. 15 years of teaching experience in early childhood doesn't make me an expert. Actually I don't even feel qualified at the moment. Clearly I have a lot to learn & room to grow. Years ago a failure such as this would've crushed me. Now I kinda laugh (KINDA) at myself & say 'Better Luck Next Time.'
And there will be a next time. Next week to be exact, when I conclude the lesson on Native Americans. I have a lot of creative ideas & cool activities floating around in my head. Hopefully they will be as cool & informative as I imagine them to be. If not, so be it. I'll live to tell another tale.....
I guess the moral of the story is, no matter how much experience you have, or how well educated you are, there will come a time that you fail. How will that moment define you? Will it be destructive or constructive? Will it cause utter devastation or will it cause the creative juices to flow? Will it be the end for you or just the beginning? For me, it's just the beginning.............................of a whole new chapter! GAME ON!