A blog about all things pertaining to Trent Lott, Leadership and Blogs.

Friday, December 23, 2005

First Semester of Teaching

Yup. Heading to Mexico tomorrow. No more teaching for now. Took me a whole week to get my head straight again, but I'm kind of enjoying this return to civillian life. I forgot what this is like, when you close your eyes and don't see crowds of screaming children, when you can sleep in past 6:30 in the morning. (at first I was automatically waking up at about 7:00 anyways, but I'm pleased to report that this morning I scarcely stirred until 11:00.

After one semester of teaching, I can be certain of two things:
1) I will not be a lifelong teacher. This is sort of interesting for a while, but will not suit me as a lifelong vocation. I need a job with less paperwork and less dictatorial powers. If there's one thing I don't like about this job, it's being in charge, and telling these poor kids what they can and can't do. I know they need that right now, but I'd rather be the one teaching them proper TP techniques when all is said and done.
2) I will not have to quit, and I won't have to bow out in shame mid-year. 2006-2007 is another story, and is still under consideration, but I can certainly make it through another semester, and then I'll have the opportunity to reevaluate.

So yeah, I can yell louder and I know how to add fractions, and I can honestly say that the mathematical abilities of my students have not receded since I came to the job, and a good number have even improved.
Everyone says that the second semester is easier. I believe 'em. There were days at the beginning when all I could say to myself is "Ari, just remember, no future day will be as bad as this one right now, it only gets better." It is and it will continue to do so.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Reflections on Summer Blog

The trepidation-tinged excitement, the perpetual preoccupation with polishing my act before the lights dimmed, the pervasive assumption of an initiation into the rareified and transcendent craft of teaching ... what a fool I've been.

Looking back, I find this to be the most striking feature of my summer blogs, this sentiment that I was on the cusp of something life-changing and utterly foreign to all my prior experiences. But time inevitably breeds familiarity, reminding one that after all life is life and thanks to the space age we're all well aware that there's nothing new above the sun either. This job certainly has it's disroportionate share of headaches, heartaches and satisfying experiences, but it's still a job when all is said and done. Maybe I'm not so much jaded as spoiled and I've forgotten the soul-calcifying torpor of a regular desk job, but I'm also a big proponent of the idea that you can make any experience into what you choose because they're all really the same when you get down to it.

So teaching is a bit routine right now. To be honest, I've found it still hasn't lived up to either extreme, it's neither as difficult nor as satisfying as I've been led to believe. Sure the kids drive me nuts some days and make me feel like I'm fresh off the boat, and sometimes they learn really well and that's kind of fun, but yeah ... really just another job with a little added dash of tabasco or something.

Right now I've got to find away from staying off autopilot. It's easy to challenge yourself at the start when you're helpless and have no other choice, but this is much harder when you're doing well enough but still have room for growth. Hopefully that beatiful winter break coming like a sprite can in the desert will allow me some time to reevaluate and find someway to ward off this incipient ennui.