Any teacher who is reasonably alert can tell when a lesson is clicking. The students are hopping, excited, engaged. They make that face– the “I am learning a cool thing” face is unlike any other face humans make. They’re energized. You’re energized. You feel like you’re the cable and a million volts of electricity are flowing right through you.
Likewise, you know when it’s not clicking. Even if your relationship with the students is so good that they will humor you out of sheer affection, you can recognize that face, too– the “You’re a great person, but right now this is the pits” face. Or that moment when you are trying to get a discussion started and everything you toss out thuds to the floor like lumps of elephant poop.
This. Is. So. True.
And the funniest part is when the same you teaches the same material on the same day in the same way but in two different classrooms. And you get these two opposite reactions. Because who knows why. And you are like, “Can somebody explain to me how this is possible?!?!?!?” But nobody knows because it’s like dancing, or cooking, or sex. Or literature. All of the ingredients are the same, the process is identical and the result is. . . an excursion to paradise. Or, just as likely, a plunge into a dung heap.