* Survival Tip #2: Never cook during a formal observation

Same setting as the previous post.  Same wonderful kids.  Same patient principal.  I’ll start off with the two morals of this post: It takes me a while to learn from my mistakes and I care too much about appearances.  For this observation, since we were working on letter identification plus measurement in math, I decided to cook alphabet pancakes with the kids.  I was careful to have all the ingredients on hand, as well as duplicates in case egg shells got in the batter or milk was poured on the floor.  I had borrowed a brand new griddle from my newly-wed neighbors since my electric skillet was scummy and scorched, much too dingy for an observation.  The measuring went well, the batter was ready, and I was preheating the griddle.  One of my students raised his hand politely and said, “The pan’s on fire.”  I glanced at the griddle but focused on the principal, who didn’t seem to hear that ill-timed remark. “No, it’s not,” I said stupidly.  The student raised his hand again and repeated his declaration with greater alarm.  By that time, I was wafting away the smoke with a flushed face, scrambling for an activity while the plastic film over the never-used griddle slowly burned away.  Eventually we made alphabet pancakes (no smoke detector in that room!).  And I got a decent evaluation from the gracious principal.

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