the circular runner

a lesson for teachers: KEEP LEARNING NEW STUFF!!

In career, life, teaching & education, Uncategorized on December 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

I teach.

I am good at it.

Why?

Better question: Why am I putting in all these line breaks?

I’ll stop now.

I promise.

OK. Back to why I’m not so bad in the classroom.  I like it.  There’s that.  I guess I like helping others.  But I don’t like the sound of that because I don’t know if that really gets at it.  I’m just not that noble.  I’m ok with people–possible reason?  I’m not a social being, though.  I have a pretty high tolerance for solitude. At parties, I tend to get bored and want to read something.  I had a buddy in grad school who used to say that my social battery was limited.  I agree. But get me in the classroom, and I can go and go like the Energizer Bunny.  Why?

There’s a little theater to it, I guess.  I also really like trying to get my students to see that they can do things, which I guess is noble.  Please don’t tell.

Regardless of why after all these many years, I’ve become a decent teacher, the idea has lately crossed my mind that I do not want to keep at it if I’m doing so for the wrong reasons.  Or to put it simply, I don’t want to prove true that old, hack saying about teachers teaching because they CAN’T do other things.  That would make me lame and hypocritical, and if there’s one thing my savvy students pick up on is lame hypocrites.

I spend my days trying to get them to overcome their fear of learning new things.  Most of my students who don’t “like school,” are really “scared of school.”  They are scared because they know they don’t know how to do what I am asking them to do.  And not knowing is scary when you know you don’t know.

That sentence read like the bad philosophy I used to read in college–I need a line break to recover.

Back to teaching: over the years, as I have become comfortable in my position, I think I’ve forgotten how it feels to have to learn something new.  Because of the new stuff I am trying to learn in order to get the new site up and my writing career up and running, I have experienced the same anxiety when faced with not knowing that my students face when looking at an equation or a right triangle.  I know that have often wanted to run from learning how to place images in an HTML file; I have put off trying my hand at a film editing program because it just seemed too complicated. I have thought the following thoughts in rapid succession:

It just all seems so hard.

It’s too hard.

I can’t handle it.

I’m lame.

I’m dumb.

How many times have I heard these words coming from my students? How many times have I shushed them, smacked them in the head with a pencil (lovingly, of course) and reassured them?  Time for me to do the same thing for myself.  Not easy, I know.  Maybe learning requires bravery.  I need to be braver to be a better teacher.

OK.

Fine.

But can I say it?  Film editing programs are not very easy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: