The most terrifying thing about teaching my own class is 'do I actually know enough to effectively teach students?' I know this is anxiety brought on by a lack of experience but finding the tools to deal with crisis moments before they occur is key to handling any situation well. To that end, I was inspired by a comment on Brian Rushton's question about damage control during a lesson.
What do you do when you realize two weeks into the course that your course plan is not working? – Joel David Hamkins
I know that (in the US) most new teachers have an older teacher assigned to mentor them and all course and lesson plans will have to be approved, but I could see a situation in which I have a fantastic idea for how a course should progress and it simply falls apart. Some examples of issues could be:
Students do not have the necessary background knowledge - This shouldn't be the case, but if a majority of the class doesn't understand basic algebra, it would make it extremely difficult to teach Pre-calculus.
Students are bored by the material - I feel that it is the instructor's responsibility to engage the students but if the material itself is boring because it is not challenging, what could be done?
The schedule is completely inaccurate - Again, I know that as a new teacher, any syllabus should be approved before I'm allowed to teach it, but what if after two weeks, I am 3 or 4 days behind?
These are only a few examples of issues I could see coming up and not meant to be a comprehensive list of things that require damage control. I'm hoping for an overall concept that can then be applied to specific situations.