I&U Ep3: What are your bests and worsts?

Welcome to Episode 3 of my summer video series—Imperfect and Unfinished: Stories for Reflection and Teacher Renewal

Teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see, I have the chance to gain self-knowledge—and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.

Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Where we’ve been…

In Episode 2, we uncovered our “Passion Profile” and the energy that drives us as teachers. These Passion Profiles are intended to help you create some perspective on your professional identity and your vision of equity. They are meant to spark conversations with each other so we can celebrate what makes us unique and appreciate what we have in common as colleagues.

Where we’re going…

In Episode 3, I share a bit about my own “bests and worsts” and invite you to gain some self-knowledge.

To become a better, happier teacher, it is crucial to be able to see ourselves—when we are at our best and also at our worst. And it can be hard to create that vantage—that internal perspective we need when we’re moving at the speed of school. And it can be really hard to look into that mirror when we are not at our best. When we’re feeling discouraged and defense, it’s easy to want to hide in our silos and insulate ourselves from all the chaos of school.

In this Episode, I hope that I’m able to create some more internal vantage on your own professional identity so that you can gain some self-knowledge. And I’m going to share a bit about my own bests and worsts as a way to invite you to “look into the mirror and not run from what we see” as Parker Palmer might say. Find out more by watching the video above.

See you down the road!



Every episode of Imperfect and Unfinished has an invitation to reflect and a downloadable resource.

Share your story with us. Here’s how!

I hope the stories and activities in these videos help us create communities of belonging and grace—the type of relationships we need as imperfect and unfinished teachers. And I’m inviting you to share your story with us and the people you work with.

  • Reach out to a colleague. Send them a link to Episode 1. Tell them what your experience has been like and invite them on the journey with us.
  • Share your experience with us in the comments section of this blog post. And perhaps take a moment to reply to a comment that’s been written.
  • Join us in our Facebook Group: The Imperfect and Unfinished Math Teacher. It’s not just for math teachers. If you’re enjoying these videos, come on over and find us there.
  • Follow me on Twitter (@mathgeek76) and let’s start a conversation. We’re using #ImperfectUnfinished.
  • Send me an email at chase@undercovercalculus.com. You’re not alone. I’ll geek out with you.

Download the “Bests and Worsts Activity” for free!

Enter your email address and receive access to a downloadable PDF of these Passion Profiles and the reflection questions. You’ll also receive access to all future resources as they are released.

2 thoughts on “I&U Ep3: What are your bests and worsts?”

  1. It’s not always nice, and not always fun, but reflecting on those really bad days, those uninspired lessons, those regrettable interactions and comments made out of frustration, are so valuable.
    We tell students that it is ok to make mistakes, even desirable to make mistakes. So why do we ignore our mistakes or beat our selves up over them. It is better to just take a minute or two, look at what happened, and ask yourself why could this have been. Not in an accusatory way but in a mindfulness, I just want to know sort of way.
    Usually the answer to why a regrettable interaction or comment, is because I was personally not my best, or thinking of other things. So I have made the first 2 hours of my day, the most important. I wake early, do some exercises, some spiritual reading, drink some good coffee, even at times play some guitar, and slowly start my day. It has helped me stay in the right frame of mind longer and more consistently throughout the day.
    Might be hard for those who stay awake late and wake just before rushing off to work, but for those that have the time, I highly recommend a good morning routine.

    • Mr. JJ, thanks for sharing your story and being a window. I appreciate how you’re trying to make the most of your morning time to get yourself grounded. And how honest you are about how difficult that can be some mornings. Your students are lucky to have you!


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