Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yes, I speak Teacher

Guess what! I love teaching college. There, I've admitted it.

And, to be honest, it's not what I thought it was. I heard horror stories. You've probably heard them too. Students described as non-participatory and remedial who write substandard prose. They are shockingly nasty words to come from educators.

My students, young as they are, are brilliant and driven. Don't believe me? Cases in point: Mere minutes after the first day of class a student takes an online quiz that isn't due till mid-October and receives an A-. Another student anticipates an assignment days before I tell the class about it and hands it in (typed!) just moments after I assign it. Another student already knows what his final paper topic will be and it's amazing (1960's Brazilian musicians' influence in national politics). Students talk about literature with insight and opinion. I ask a question and several hands shoot up. They argue persuasively, with minimal prompting, on the social ills of corporate greed, discrimination, apathy, and substance abuse.

The irregularities turn out to be my own. I've noticed that I pace in front of the classroom, almost from one end of the whiteboard to the other. Why? Am I a wild animal in a cage? It's not nerves, because I simply don't feel nervous. I thought I would, but...nope. I started to sit behind my desk to correct the problem, but after my mom told me that that's probably distancing to my students I now sit on my desk. And I think about my classes all the time, even when I'm not preparing for the next lecture. Furthermore, I feel like ideas come to me through the Spirit all the time. Sometimes I'm teaching in class and the students teach me and I get chills. It's incredible.

In short, I can now say that, for the first time in my life, I am a satisfied employee. Now if only it paid better....


  1. Glad everything is going well. I guess you'll just have to get that doctorate degree before you can start earning the big bucks teaching. Good luck!

  2. Yay! Teaching is sooo very satisfying. I admit, I did become a little disillusioned by the apathy of my writing class last semester, but with school starting up again this semester, I totally miss it.

    I would always get my brilliant ideas during my drive to class. I'd spend hours the night before preparing a lecture and activities, and then to campus 40 minutes before class started and rearrange everything. It was great!

  3. I was just missing teaching very keenly this week. (Never fear, the plan includes becoming a nursing professor.)I love the part about getting chills. I also felt the Spirit help me countless times as I tried to understand the unique needs of each student, most of whom didn't understand their needs themselves. It is seriously the most amazing job ever. That's also why I love babysitting so much! The teaching moments are priceless.

  4. We are so happy that you can now count yourself among the few, the proud, the satisfied employees. You know I love what I do and I am delighted that you are finally there. I appreciate teachers doing what they do. I wish they were paid more - the good ones certainly deserve it, but you just might have to settle for teaching driver's ed in the summer time.



  5. Oh wow, this made me miss teaching even more! I feel like I had constant direction from the spirit on what to do and say around my students to get the best out of them; I miss that a lot! I also miss the students themselves quite a bit. Who would have thought that the job I thought I never wanted would end up being the one that changed me the most?