Monday, January 28, 2013

Being a good teacher: Part 2

Continued from my previous post – Being a good teacher: Part 1

I want to work on my books. I want to save myself the humiliation and frustration of being a crappy teacher for high school/Secondary school. I keep applying for lecturer jobs and, of course, library positions but nothing, nada, zippo.

When I first moved to England, I thought I’d be able to snag a library job or another job in adult education at the least, then have a nice second income for us. But when I found that the only people who responded to my resumes were teaching agencies, I ended up going this route. It’s a shame too because I’ve had headmasters ask me why I’d quit teaching to become a librarian and if I was really committed to librarianship. Of course I am. I wouldn’t have gone through the pain and debt if I weren’t sure. After four years of having nothing but disappointment in the public schools, I’m sure I’m sure.

Education takes a lot of training and more training. It takes acting like a wench at least 8 hours of the day. Without really knowing the material, the lessons, the school, the requirements of the administration, and the way to be a mean, hard-nosed, no-nonsense teacher, you don’t stand a chance. It sort of makes me ill when I see the motivational quotes about teaching because I’ve never been inspirational or life changing. I would have liked to, but I just wasn’t really cut out for that kind of life, I guess. I liked teaching at the college though because I came in, did my lesson, hung out in my office, mentored students, went home, graded and had a life outside of school. At the public school we’re up before dawn and too exhausted when we come home to do anything but eat and sleep – at least I always am.

It’s humiliating to be called “too nice” and “too soft.” Even at the English school I didn’t have out of control classes like I did in Florida (where one term I had kids who tore apart my outdoor portable classroom, who fell asleep during state exams, who got into physical fights daily.) I was really thinking that here I was getting better, getting them to settle, getting good work out of them, and all those things they want to see happen in the classroom. But since I wasn’t “mean” I wasn’t “good.” It’s an awful feeling.

Anyway, after stewing about this for some time, I’ve let the teaching agencies know I’m available again. I really don’t want to keep beating this dead horse though. I feel like I’m spending my day more productively if I’m writing at home. It’s the only thing I’ve really wanted to do anyway. My ultimate goal is to be a writer/librarian in the future; a really successful one at that. I would love to be able to help teachers and students from the library side of the school or university. I’ve been to schools were the libraries are not utilized in the way I know they could be and I would love to really show the school how important a modern, working media center can be.

If I’m going to schools as a teacher, were I know I’m not going to succeed, it’s just spinning my wheels and wasting my time. Well, I guess it’s not a waste if I keep in mind that I will be working and keeping a steady reference in my teaching agencies so I can keep applying for other jobs. (Not that I am able to get another job.) It’s a weird situation to be in – I don’t want to break ties with any agencies, especially since I need some kind of work history on my resume.

Plus, I get some cash here and there.

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