Graduate Teaching, Spring & CJ the Husky
After what I can confidently say was a pretty challenging (aka terrible) Term 3, I'm back at school with a new found sense of positivity and purpose. I'm not going to lie, I think the sunshine, warmth and longer days have a lot to do with it!
Graduate teaching. Wow. Talk about Trial by Fire. This last year has been not only a process of professional development, but a deeply personal one too. How can it not be? Every single day you are forced to give everything, without expecting and rarely receiving anything in return. You question your skills, your abilities and your value after every challenging class. You attempt to reconcile your idea of what you believe teaching SHOULD be, and what is ACTUALLY possible given time constraints, lack of resources and a system built on standardised testing, and despair when you realise how difficult that can be. I have personally had to confront a lifelong avoidance of conflict, and learn (again) to trust and back myself when things get tricky. I have lost and re-discovered my sense of humour. I have had to judge the behaviours and values I consider non-negotiable, and endeavour to model these every moment of every day.
I've also made real connections with students who initially regarded me with only hostility and disrespect. I have had students express genuine thanks and gratitude for my time and effort. I have helped a student raise his average Math test score from 20% to 60%. And I have laughed, a lot.
So, as we sink into the midst of Spring, I'm feeling far more hopeful and relaxed than I have been in a long time. Kind of like 'ole CJ in my photo today. Maybe one day my only concern will be someone to play catch with...what a life!
- Panasonic DMC-TZ30