Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wistful Sigh...

-Been thinking about teaching, lately. Sometimes I miss it. Mostly I am glad that I don't ever have to go back... but sometimes I miss it.

I miss being able to teach. Chemistry, in particular. I find chemistry so fascinating and of great practical importance. And I got a great sense of accomplishment from making connections for kids that helped them make sense of the science.

I miss making a room full of kids laugh.

I miss watching kids learn how to use math for a purpose rather than just do math as an exercise. And seeing the satisfaction they get from figuring it out for themselves.

I miss challenging questions, though, to be honest - in the five years that I taught, I only got two questions that I would consider "challenging." So, in a sense, I missed them when I was teaching too. But both times it happened, I had no answer (which is probably why I thought they were challenging.) It forced me to learn something new so I could answer the question. It also made me think "this kid is THINKING," which always gets a teacher jazzed. The best part is that both times, the questions came from kids who were just average students.

Not too long after I left teaching, I saw one of my former students. She asked me why I left. It was one of those questions that had a complex answer. But, at the time, I was content to never think about teaching again, so I hadn't really formulated the answer in my own mind. What I ended up saying was "it was so hard."

Such a stupid answer. I wouldn't care if my job was hard. The issue was that I didn't enjoy it.... and that made the last 2 or so years very hard. I burned out.

And there was/is a lot going on in education in the state of Ohio that made/makes me want to run away, screaming and waving my arms, from any offer to teach in this state. So that didn't help matters for me. (Please note that I have resisted the urge to turn this into a rant. Maybe another time.)

I've said before that I would love to teach chemistry to someone who just wanted to learn. (I don't know if you have noticed, but teaching is one of the few jobs a person can have where they will be surrounded by large numbers of people who actually want you to NOT do your job as often as possible.) So it would be cool to be free of that, and free of state requirements, and school bureaucracy, and just teach someone who says "that's cool" a lot.

Yes. Now the title of this post makes sense, huh?

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Blogger Luisa Perkins said...

Have you thought about offering your services as a homeschool chemistry tutor? I have done writing workshops for homeschoolers and have found it very rewarding. Short-term project; (usually) motivated, smart kids; a little extra cash. That might satisfy your teaching urge.

Thu Mar 15, 02:22:00 PM  

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