Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why "Teaching is Insanity"

Beau: "You want to teach? Why?"
Insane Teacher: "I can't pinpoint one thing or another. There's the students and watching them learn and grow. There's the gratification of passing on knowledge to a new generation. I don't know. My heart is into teaching, not medicine anymore. Why should not follow my passion? Think about it. Why do you want to go into medicine?"
Beau: "There's money, prestige, and doing cool [crap] like cutting open people and saving lives. All good reasons to stick with medicine. There's no good reason to teach. Teaching is insanity."

- From a conversation between Insane Teacher and Beau (at the time), circa 2008.

As I've been searching for a job, I keep thinking back to the exchange above. At the time, I was in the midst of taking the prerequisite classes needed to apply to med school. I picked my college on the assumption that I would go into medicine, and it never crossed my mind that I would do anything else. Who knew that 35 kids would rock my world?

As a part-time job, I worked with kids after school. I took the job thinking it would be an easy, part-time cash. I unconsciously learned the first rule of working with kids: IT'S HARD WORK! Between the fighting and crying and whining, they drove me up the wall. There were many times I thought of quitting, but for some reason, I never did. I couldn't, in fact. When the kids weren't driving me crazy (and even when they were), they had a way of charming me and winning me over.

Eventually, the prereqs and looking at med schools started to appear in the rearview and looking at pathways to teach appeared in front. Soon after, I changed my major from biology to something else that I thought would be more beneficial to me as a teacher. I signed up for some math classes and that was it. My mind and college track was changed!

The exchange above happen when I announced to the BF at the time what my new career path would be. I keep think back to it, because he was right. To want to teach right now is "utter foolish[ness]." The current climate out is downright hostile towards teachers and other officials in education right now. I can't say that I disagree with some of the reasons of the hostility, as I see where it comes from. However, I want to focus on the positives of teaching and learning. Hopefully, this blog will help spread the positive, so that teaching (and education, in general) doesn't seem so insane to future educators and stakeholders in our public education system. 

As I close in on finding a job (prayers and crossed fingers, please!), I'm holding onto the reasons I want to teach and what I hope to bring into the profession: positivity and solutions. FYI, I'm wanting to teaching middle school math and/or science. I will post later on job status. As I embark on this first year of teaching, I want to share my journey, and hopefully, others will share too. 

Much love!