I don’t want this to be a complaining post. Nobody likes reading those, for starters, and May is such a great time of year to try to be happy. So instead, I’ve been thinking about things I can do which will raise my ability to respect myself as a teacher, which should translate into improvements, at least in my immediate sphere.
I’m digging the way he re-focuses his malaise towards what we can do to create positive change. How many times have I heard complaints about how our students:
- disrespect each other, their teachers, and everyone else
- drop n bombs, f bombs (the ones about a certain physical activity AND sexual orientations), S bombs (in our school, these have to do with the students from the Kanhwake first nations’ reserve in the area)…
- just don’t care
It is rare that I see someone considering what to do as an alternative to complaining. Mr. Wasserman reflectively concludes:
But I want to focus on giving my students only meaningful work to do, only things that have a clear value to them. the trick, I suppose, is to figure out what those things are.
Yes, that is the trick. And I think it is really easy to do –> We need to spend more time talking with our students than at them. Well, at least the first part is easy. The second part is integrating what we find out with the curriculum we are teaching. I think that is what makes teaching an art.
I’ll be heading back to read Mr. Wasserman again.