This is my last break during grad school. After the next (mini) semester, I will have my M.Ed. and head off (on graduation day!) to Honduras to teach again. You know, I recently heard someone state that being a teacher is harder than being a brain surgeon--teachers have to know how to reach every student in whatever way will work for him or her, but a brain surgeon (according to this person) does mostly the same things over and over again.
Now, I'm not sure I'd go that far in an appraisal of the job of a teacher, but there is a good point in there somewhere. Man...teaching is hard! I know a lot of non-teachers who don't think it is, but my motto has generally been: If you think it's easy, you're probably doing something wrong. It's scary to think of the responsibility teachers have. It plays out something like this :
1. the teacher enters.
2. 25 or so students enter.
3. the teacher must be an authority, but also warm enough so that the kids care about what she has to say.
4. the teacher must learn everything she can about her students--their interests, abilities, home lives, and struggles.
5. the teacher must then design instruction that will somehow engage all 25 of the different little people in front of her.
6. Most importantly, and most difficultly, the teacher should somehow find a way to make kids want to explore, learn, discover, and enjoy the world, in and outside of the classroom and school year.
Boy. I have two years of experience and another degree and I still feel nearly as clueless as I did on day one.
I guess the great think about teaching is that, even though it's really hard, it's a good kind of hard. I think it's hard like mini golf. No one plays mini-golf perfectly, but since it is social and fun, you keep at it. In mini golf, have to focus to get it right, and you generally keep a record of what you've done, and after 18 different holes, you might only get one hole-in-one--but it's enough to pump you up for the next round!
Wow. All cheesy metaphors aside, I'm pretty excited to get back in the game!