As someone who is a graduate student and new to the field of teaching, it is normal that I will be observed by someone from time to time. Recently, a professor who is the coordinator of the graduate TA’s came to observe my teaching. Here is a dialogue (I am taking some creative liberties, it won’t be word for word) from the debrief meeting we had about it:
Professor: How do you think it went?
Me: I don’t think it was one of my finer days. I wasn’t as energetic as I normally am at 8:00 a.m. because I was starting to contract a little bit of the flu. Since I wasn’t feeling that well, I don’t feel like I had complete control over my class and they seemed rather chatty that day. The group in the back that NEVER talks wouldn’t shut up and I just didn’t know what to do. I don’t think they were engaged in the activities and I think I tried to do too much. I think I rushed through the prompt of the paper I was assigning, so, I will have to revisit that. I just think I did everything all wrong that day and I think you should have visited on a different day. What do you think?
Professor: I think it went well. Good job!
So, maybe I have some self-esteem things to work on, but the point is, if you think you are having a bad day or doing a bad job even though you are working hard, ask someone else what their opinion is on the matter. It might surprise you.
Side note: the professor did give me really good feedback on what I can improve/incorporate into my classroom, but she overall had a better opinion of that day than I did.