Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School

working on my syllabus

I’ve been reading a lot of stories lately about the first day of school – kindergarten and pre-school.

I go back to teach this week. Teaching at two different schools with staggered schedules means that I got one week away from teaching for the summer. Boy, summer vacation went quick. My guy has already been back at it for a few weeks and settling into a new group of students.

On my first day of teaching, a year ago, a student sized me up and said, with eyes that couldn’t hide her doubt, “You haven’t taught this before, have you?” She’s sharp. I said, “No” and commented that the course content would be the same as the other section’s instructor, but I’d have a more fresh, different approach. And I’m an alum, so I have even more empathy with the students. Yet, sure enough though, she and another student transferred sections. The other instructor, well-established, left teaching after that term. Now, there’s no alternate; It’s all me, and I’ve been at it for a year.

My second gig is again teaching a section of a class, where the other section is taught by a veritable legend at not one, but both schools that I teach. Auwe. My class is under-enrolled, and I have to get out there, hustle to get students to fill my roster so the class doesn’t get cancelled. I’ll make the long drive out today to go see S’s class, see if any of them will swap sections into mine. But, what can you say to even younger students, intent on having class with him?
Heck, I’d like to spend some time sitting in on class with him.

I’ve found to relish the good students and that moment that you can see discovery and understanding and trust in their eyes. But right now, the balance still tips the other way. Words cut sharply:
“You’ve never done this before, have you?”
“I still have to finish up my studio work and have to miss your class. Are you going to be doing anything important today?”

I'm still not sure I really am meant to teach.

Either way, remember to be good to the teachers on their first days of school.


Toni said...

Good luck Wendee.
My son is a teacher so I somewhat know what you are going through.

april nance said...

I discovered your blog through Ornamental. I love your blog title and description-the best! Good luck with your teaching adventure, as a parent of a pre-schooler and first grader I definitely can relate.

kenlebleu said...

Having taught highschool for 5 years.. I know exactly what you mean. My first year the principal said "can you teach art", I said No..not at all. He paused for a minute than said..So.. Can you teach art? I said sure no problem..haha

But people forget especially when you go up the ladder how many things the teacher/prof has to deal with. With little or no concern for the teacher themselves.

Those who can't... teach...
Those who can.. Need teachers.

Teach how your heart tells ya.. The rest is all baggage that will mean nothing in 2 months.

Plain Jane said...

I can relate. I want to teach a class full of excellent human beings that give me their full attention....And I try my best.
And there are always a few, at least, that are excellent human beings, and believe I'm a good teacher. I hold on to that.
Keep us posted!

Wendee said...

Thanks guys. So far, the class has been enjoyable. We're drawing cubes and ellipses, and making them better at each pass ...