Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday Factoid: Teaching

Today's Wednesday Factoid (that I'm posting on Thursday because I forgot) is: Would you want to be a teacher?

Pshh. A teacher? Me? Why would I ever want to do that?

Oh um. Yeah. About that.

I have an education degree. So "lol yeah right why would I be a teacher" does seem like a very odd thing to say.

So, basically, my story is that I found out I'm not cut out to be a teacher by trying to be one. There were many aspects of it I liked, and most of those had specifically to do with what amazing freaking treasures these children were, but to be honest, teaching elementary school was at least half babysitting (especially down in first grade where I spent the first half of my internship). You still literally have kids wetting themselves and puking during reading circle at that point, so there's a huge amount of actual child care going into the process of teaching children that young.

And I wasn't much bigger than my kids.
I liked the children, but I was far more inclined to be their friend than be their boss, so to speak. I found classroom management very challenging (not in a way I liked), and though I was very good at lesson plans, I didn't enjoy making them and I didn't enjoy executing them. Teaching involved long hours and intense levels of attention and planning, and I could already tell that during my internship, to say nothing of being on my own as an actual teacher.

Basically, since on top of all that teaching is a very low-paying position in this country, I felt like it should be something you only do if you love it. You certainly can't be in it for the money, so you'd better enjoy yourself, and I was not. I thought I kind of owed it to the students NOT to be one of the people teaching them if I was not there because I loved it.

I have no doubt that I could have done it. But it just wasn't my scene, at least as a classroom teacher in the public school system.

I have since become an educator in other ways. I have given guest lectures at colleges, created educational videos, and provided an awful lot of technology tutoring and mentoring for up-and-coming writers. I'm patient, and when I'm knowledgeable about my subject I'm extremely free with that knowledge, willing to spend my own time and energy to help someone who wants to learn. But I don't want to do it as a job, and I'd rather be in complete control of who I teach, and when, and what.


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