Monday, August 29, 2011

The Early Days of Teaching


On August eighth I walked through the doors of high school not as a student but as an educator. One week of pre-planning behind me, and nothing but lesson plans in front me I eagerly began the career I had trained for over four years for.  This is a turning point in my life, and an adventure unfolding every day.  I have begun my career as U.S. History and World History teacher. The goal is to mold young minds into the big picture relevance that presents itself every day. By connecting the past, and removing students from the present state of mind, I hope to give them the tools necessary to understand their reality. This concept of ‘teaching’ however, is not an easy task.
There are some misconceptions about teaching that warrant telling at this point. Teaching is not a typical eight hour job. It is usually ten hours plus depending on the amount of papers one must grade. If I was paid by the hour, I would probably hit overtime around Wednesday. There is a quote circulating that states, “Those that can’t do, teach.” I have thought about that quote recently. I have to admit, I do not fully understand it. Some teachers chose to be teachers. That is what they envisioned themselves doing with their lives. How is that not ‘doing?’  Of course there are some like me, who are teaching, and ‘doing.’ I am currently working on my Masters in History. Will I stop there or drift into the realm of the Ph.D? I do not really know. Some would classify my status at the present as that of an amateur historian. According to Marc Bloch, there is no such thing. There are only good historians, and bad historians. Perhaps my idea of “doing,” will be a cross between historian and High School teacher. One thing is for certain, the complexity and diversity of teaching is a harsh reality not easily accepted. It is hardly the aftermath of a failed attempt.

3 comments:

  1. At least some group od kids will be getting a proper history education from a qualified individual.

    On the subject of "those who can't do; teach" I feel like the point they're trying to convey is not that teaching isn't "doing" but more that those who teach are aren't "doing" in a traditional sense. The teachers aren't peforming labor, they aren't manufacturing tradional goods, they aren't doing anything that is directly noticeable right away.

    The teacher is in fact, in a sense, the ultimate investor. Putting time and effort into molding minds of those who might one day walk out in the world and "do" things to improve it. It's true that if the whole world was filled with teachers then there would be little accomplished, but without teachers to train those others among the population there would also be nothing accomplished.

    So in that sense a teacher is not doing, they are creating the doers of the future.

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  2. Thanks for commenting and a truly interesting take on the general phrasing of that comment. Definitely a perspective I have not examined.

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