Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Backwards Walk

I'm working on my faults and cracks/ filling in the blanks and gaps/ and when I write them out they don't make sense/ I need you to pencil in the rest... ---Frightened Rabbit, "Backwards Walk"

One of my faults: I don't learn things the first time. Exhibit A: Me ordering a tall caramel latte at 8 pm. You would think I would have learned not to do this after Sunday night. If I stayed up all night, I could probably still have stuff to do.

I became the teacher who uses threats to get students to do things yesterday. I'm not proud of it, and quite frankly I hope that this was one of the few times that I will ever have to do so. It wasn't a threat of, "If you don't do this, I'm going to take this away", it was a threat of "well, if you don't do your homework, I would be happy to inform your parents at parent-teacher conferences the reason why you have a zero in the gradebook for this assignment, even though you had plenty of time to work on it." And while this got the student to do the homework, I don't think I earned any respect. Teaching is about mutual respect, and well, I don't think I'm being effective in this way with a particular student. I'm trying to wrap my brain around how to do this.

One of my faults: I can't let things go. I can't help it, I think I'm genetically wired to be this way. A very wise friend of mine reminded me that the next time I see my students, anything that happened will have been forgotten. But I can't let go of the fact that this kid doesn't respect me. to quote the great Michael Scott, "Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."

Another fault: I procrastinate. I'm finding that it is a million times easier if I am not at home when I am trying to get things done. If I'm at home, I'm constantly getting distracted-needing to unload the dishwasher, re-organize my closet, my desk, my drawers, what have you. Funny how it only took until my senior year of college for me to realize that studying at home isn't the best place for me to be productive. This CANNOT happen when student teaching rolls around. Procrastination is a no-no.

Another fault, a deadly combo with procrastination: I over-book myself. At the beginning of the semester, I was working 4 week nights and taking night class on the other one. I left no time for anything else involving school or teaching, let alone relaxing. Thankfully I cut back on work, but now that leaves me with less funds to have some play time or save up.

I feel like I can use some of my flaws to my advantage, if I channel them properly. Entering into the realm of adulthood, I feel like I'm doing this backwards walk, where I discover more about myself and try to use it to my advantage, and it only hurts me in the end. I'm doing this dance with myself, trying to figure out how to play up my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. And as I become more of an adult, I'm realizing how much I've learned about myself over the last year, which in some ways is great. But I never shut my brain off, more particularly my "teacher brain". My children are screwed because everything will have to be a learning experience, or a "meta moment". I'm sure they will probably hate me until they reach the age of 25.

Sigh. This was an all-over-the-place post. I just really needed to get it all out there. Back to something I'm unmotivated to do and will therefore most likely procrastinate, causing me to overbook myself later, and I'll be mad at myself and won't let it go, but heaven forbid I learn from this.

1 comment:

  1. hey - don't forget - those students are lucky to have you, even when you make mistakes because you CARE about them. They'll be patient with you while you figure out the teaching part, as long as they know you care. and you do. really, that's the only thing you can't teach without.