To be good at anything — anything! — takes thousands and thousands of hours of patient study, and I want people to know that when kids make mistakes or have setbacks, we don’t need to jump all over them for every little thing. This is a long process.
As a young teacher, he was impatient, Esquith says.
You come in with your lesson plan and you have everything set and then some kid jumps up and tells you to go [expletive] yourself, some other kids start fighting, and an administrator comes in the room and yells at you — all your plans go out the window. It’s happened to me. And you become so frustrated. But that doesn’t make you a bad teacher. Teachers and parents need to understand that this isn’t a Hollywood movie where the teacher just walks in and saves everyone. It’s a really hard job and we’ve gotta keep at it.
Esquith’s book, subtitled “Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World,” is aimed at parents as much as teachers.