Category Archives: Teaching

Turn and face the strange.

Some time ago, in the midst of one of my many (many) existential crises, I happened upon a series of books called The School of Life.  The premise of all these books is that sometimes the things we aren’t overtly taught via the many institutions to which we belong by choice, default or force, could really use some basic instruction.  Some titles include How To Connect with Nature, and How To Be Alone, as well as News: A User’s Manual.   One of the books proffered is How To Find Fulfilling Work, and whilst I have been engaged throughout much of my adult life in fulfilling work, at the time I found that book, I very much was not fulfillingly employed.

This, unfortunately, remains the case.

You see, whilst I do love language, and I do love teaching, I do not so much love teaching language.  I never envisaged teaching English; teaching English was something I never foresaw falling back on, and that happened to save my arse when I did indeed fall.

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5 things I learned teaching.

It is not yet time to give you an update on what is happening, because I frankly do not know.  I’m still in the process of trying to make a very significant life change (again, because that’s how I roll), and it has proven very difficult thus far.  So in thinking about what’s to come, I have lots of unknowns and empty spaces and that is profoundly anxiety-producing and not something I could even begin to write about, except on a meta-scale, and of course, that’s why I have a journal.

For purposes of What If and Why Not, however, I thought a reflection on the past couple of years, as I (hopefully) make my slightly awkward exit from the wonderful world of teaching was in order.  Without further ado, ladies and gents, a few tidbits I may have already known, but teaching made that much clearer.

1. High school kids don’t realize teachers are people.  Neither do lots of college students. I should have learned this lesson as a student, because it was seriously the case for me, and most of the people I grew up with.  Until a certain age, depending, of course, on the person and their relationship to certain aspects of society (authority, family, friendship, etc.), certain grown-ups are…let’s say not as human as one’s peers.  There is a profound Continue reading

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Re-boot.

Lately I’ve been plagued by a sort of guilt that is difficult to describe, particularly for someone who hasn’t written a word in several months…but I’ll do my best.

It’s just this:  Chris and I have made a lot of effort to be fully responsible for our lot in life.  Only on very few occasions have we made rash choices – some we’ve come to rue and others we’ve embraced whole-heartedly – opting primarily for a well-thought-out, rational and reasonable decision-making process.  One of those responsible decsisions has been not to have children.

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There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.

It never occurred to me to become a teacher.  I’ve always had such a weird relationship with teachers – some of them adored me and made me see the endless possibilities my life held, but a lot of them were really kind of awful, a few even stooping so low as to resort to bullying tactics.  I was, admittedly, an outrageously annoying child.  I talked incessantly to cope with my almost unbearable insecurities.  I was, as I’ve mentioned here previously, super tall and pretty fat.  For a while there I was also reasonably smart.  My first grade teacher made a point of that last bit, pulling me apart from the rest of the class and bringing my reading level three grades higher than everyone else’s.  Additionally, at story time she would have me read to the class.  As you can imagine, this made everyone think I was awesome.  Oh, how they’d cheer my name at recess.

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