500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 3

Note: This post and subsequent As A Teacher posts to be placed at end of magnum opus, as this post is current.




Not titles. What do you want to be? Who do you see yourself as? In the words of one student, “I’m not used to being asked what I want or who I am. I am used to guidelines and rules.” That sentence right there ties in with Career Oriented Education. Students, at least these and I suspect many more, are not used to thinking about themselves, only about the assignment and the next assignment.

Here they are in the one class where thinking about themselves as people, as in their future both immediate and long-term is important and they have no training at all. Surely, they should have thought about this stuff at some point, shouldn’t they? Probably, but not to the degree that is being asked of them.

“Why did you choose sinner?” I ask about something they wrote.

What followed was a back and forth discussion on the nature of choice, in that they did not randomly choose sinner. Sinner meant something to them, it is part of their identity. They could have chosen evil doer or misanthrope, but they didn’t, they chose sinner and that means something. This was the start of a day of me verbal vomiting a lot of information and hopefully starting the process of getting each of them to realize that this class is about them. Not about me. Not about the school. Them.

It’s a hard lesson. For years you do what you are told, all the while with the expectation that you are thinking about what you are being told, and then one day out of the blue you are asked who you are and what do you want. No, there is no rubric for who you are and what you want.  There is no right answer. The answer is dependent upon you.

That is some deep shit. Even if they don’t realize it now. Of course they can choose to ignore the deeper implications of this class and focus on the tasks at hand. I hope not, because learning something about yourself is more valuable than a grade on a piece of paper. At the moment though, between lessons on choice and the seeming random nature of choice, I unloaded a lot of information and expectations.

They have a short amount of time to do a lot of work and they will not be allowed to focus solely upon that work. There are other distractions that they bring into the class and there are the distractions built into the class. All designed to test them. This is a capstone class and they should be able to demonstrate competence, even when a wall of shit heads their way.

I am hopeful that questions will start rolling in. There were some questions, but not nearly as many as I hoped. See, I learned something about myself today, as a teacher/educator I can show and I can ask them questions, but I present information best when I am asked a question. I know backwards, but when someone asked a question I was able to answer their question and provide follow-up that I might not had the question not been asked.

We shall see…in another 500 Words.



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