In short, I’m not patient; I’m teaching.
Teaching is a fascinating job, endlessly interesting, bizarre, and funny, and people figure I must not be very bright if I am doing it.
And I'm not kind. I am demanding, consistent, firm, and sometimes amiably harsh.
All that time I spend with students who are actively resisting school? All that time I spend tracking them down and making sure they understand the material and start changing the way they approach learning? I don't do that because I'm kind. I know that. Nor do I do it because I crave power, or because I want to be remembered. Teachers have precious little power. Students forget most of their teachers except the last one, who benefited from all the work the previous ones had done.
I'm not sure why I do it.
Except that it's so extraordinarily satisfying to show someone the organized, coherent paragraph one of my 12-year-olds wrote yesterday, the one that uses evidence from the book to justify what he's saying, and say, "Look at what he wrote! All by himself!" And he did.
All by himself. It's a miracle.
« Older In August of last year, mathematician Shinichi Moc... | Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt