Since I haven’t blogged in awhile I thought I would just share some random stuff on my mind. .
I believe I have found my vocation in teaching. This is a wonderful thing and a terrible thing. Wonderful because I practically skip to work every day and LOVE what I do. Teaching fills me up and empties me out in a way very few things have done in my life let alone a job. Every day I am challenged to pour myself out for my students, to stand in the gap for them so they may bridge the gap between ignorance and knowledge, between success and failure. Teaching has cracked open my soul the way falling in love for the first time does. Wonderful, right? Here is the terrible part; I am not even half as good as I want to be more than half of the time. I want to reach my students, to inspire them, to do what it takes to make the information that will be so vital to their professional lives stick. Yet so many things pull them, their lovers, their children, their previous disastrous attempts at education, the miniscule amount of self esteem and self confidence so many of them have, the poverty, exhaustion and the apathy. My plan to improve myself as a teacher has been to learn everything I can about my craft but what it seems to come down to is to care about my students and, to quote Dorey from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimmin’”
Which brings me to the second though; teaching is a type of performance. I really had never thought about this before when I taught my physicians or fellow employees. Day in and day out I am putting on a floor show for my students to teach them something. No matter how I feel or what I personally think I must hit the boards with a positive attitude and focused communication. I would really like to team up with a theatre department somewhere and create a seminar for teachers to give them theatrical training that will help in class. Information and training on things like voice projection and modulation prop work, scripting, stage movement, all things that inform teaching that can be taken from theatre.
For my last tidbit I will stray away from the teaching obsession and talk about the birds. Where I lived in Michigan, even before that in Indiana this is the time of year that the birds are leaving and heading south, we say good bye to geese and robins, hummingbirds and oriels and our feeders become filled with chick-a-dees and song sparrows. Here bird things are just starting to heat up, the early Canadian geese are just arriving and the humming birds from all over the northern US are stopping off here for a rest and a sip of nectar from the blooming trees and the feeders in my yard. Hummingbirds, by the way, are vicious little swordsmen who beat the crap out of each other.
My students are arriving for my night class so I bid you adieu until next time. . . C