Tuesday, June 29, 2010

school musings

Yes, I am unemployed; no, when I left my job I didn't imagine that I was leaving education for good. Right now, however, I wonder how easy it will be to take a little step that leads away from education, then another one, and another, until I'm light years away from where I am right now.

I find myself wondering this mostly during a class I started on Monday through the Oregon Writing Project, a program that's run with Lewis and Clark and is supposed to help improve writing for both Oregon's students and their teachers. It sounds pretty cool, right? A class that both helps you write better and gives you some ideas for how to help your students get better as well?

Well, it hasn't really turned out that way so far. I find myself sitting there thinking of all the ways I could teach the class better, ways that I could make it more engaging, more rigorous, more relevant (I've come up with quite a few). And then I get discouraged because even though I'm fairly--let's call it 92%--certain that I could teach this class more effectively, I am also keenly aware that I only have 3 years of teaching experience and am thus very unlikely to be hired by anyone to teach other teachers. In fact, one of my classmates today said, without knowing how I would take it, that she thought it was "an absolute crime" to let teachers with less than 10 years of experience teach other teachers. Certainly her view is a little extreme, and just a bit age biased, but that kind of thing just makes me hopeless for education in general.

I'm not saying that I necessarily want to teach other teachers, though it has certainly crossed my mind. But I just find myself recently annoyed by--actually, I don't even know. It's possible that I'm just pissed off because this class seems like such a waste of time and it frustrates me that bad teaching exists in this world. And in a very stasia-centric view of the world, I think that if people would just let me take care of it, things would be much better. Which is largely ridiculous, of course, but there you go.


DocSocrates said...

"Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back."

I'm willing to bet that whoever is teaching this class is treating it like a typical "summer" course: get in and get out. Perhaps the world wouldn't be better if it were run by you. But when you teach, you give it your all. What we need are people who --- when they work --- give it their all.

little happinesses: said...

heh. I was thinking about that poem when I wrote that post, too!:)

And yes, I've definitely entertained the notion of this being a summer-soaked, minimum-effort class. I'd be totally down for a class with very little (or no) homework and only the time commitment necessary for being present while the class is in session. However, I'd still like to feel that the time I spend in class is worthwhile. That's what's missing from this class.

Oh well. It's over tomorrow.

Thanks for the thoughts!