4-29 On Teaching

 As may have been clear from my previous post on teaching, it isn’t for me.  Jason and I have both learned valuable lessons from this regarding future career choices.  We don’t want to be high school teachers.

I think we both struggle with classroom discipline.  So far, we’ve been teaching interesting subjects which cut down on the need for discipline but as the kids get more comfortable and the material more familiar, they get more crazy.  We’ve tried to combat this with a combination of “scary teacher” and doing fun lessons.  At some point though, the kids are having a crazy day and that is how it is going to be.

The other aspect of this we’ve discovered is that neither of us is interested in trying to motivate the students.  I don’t really care if they want to learn.  I mean, I care because I’m supposed to and because I genuinely like the students and I want the best for them.  But I don’t have the kind of caring that good teachers have where they think this is the best thing these kids could be doing with their time so they better be excited about.  I have gained so much respect for all of my teachers in high school and for all of my friends who feel a calling to teach.

Really, I like working with teenagers.  They are funny.  Their problems are hilarious.  They have a unique perspective and lots of energy.  But, I only want to work with teenagers who want to be there.  I liked coaching.  The kids chose to be there, they wanted to play, they wanted to be on the team.  My job was to take the collective energy and focus it in a single direction.  I had fun doing that and watching how the individuals and the group evolved and grew over the course of the season.  I would go back to coaching and enjoy the experience, but this classroom teaching thing is just not for me.

Jason is having a similar issue, though he’d be happy to teach in a higher level classroom.  He likes computers, he likes problem solving and teaching but teaching a bunch of squirrelly teenagers how to double click doesn’t excite him.  I think if he was working with people who wanted to be there and had some previous experience, he’d enjoy it more. 

It is good to know what we don’t want to do.  Now, to figure out what we do want to do….

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