Friday, August 11, 2006

I started work this week after being off for approximately eight weeks. I went into work on Monday morning but didn't actually start teaching until Wednesday. Each year I have somewhat mixed emotions about going back to work. I generally enjoy teaching and I do like being around the kids I teach. The kids I work with most often are great kids and their smiling faces magically provide me with alot of energy that is needed to do my job. So what is their not to like about being a high school teacher?....It's the other stuff, like the fast, pressure packed pace that is imposed on you by "the system". Six fifty minute periods....rush, rush, rush...quickly finish the chapter....take the test...move quickly through the next unit...cover all the material....get through World War I before the end of the semester....etc. etc.....I propose that the system we have created is neither natural or healthy to the human mind, body, or spirit....which.....might help explain why so many students don't like school and so many teachers get burned out by October, which means that most teachers are acting in survival mode for most of the year. Being self aware of the situation is helpful but actually being able to do something about it is another matter because I don't control the bell system, the curriculum, the choice of textbooks, or the various tests I administer. I don't mean to come across as bitter or a whiner. Thank God I have a job and financial security, for the most part......I also don't like the fact that I come home many days just wiped out which is why my blogging activity, excercise, and motivation to do this or that becomes increasingly difficult. As always,I enter the new school year determined to not get so caught up in the frantic pace that surrounds me....and....this year I am more optimistic than the last three years because I don't have any major changes to make on the curriculum front which means I can resort to tweaking this or that. Iv'e got my fingers crossed that I don't get blind sided by some big unexpected stressor. Of course I can't control many of the variables that come our way in life but I do hope and pray that things calm down a bit in the Shire this upcoming school year.


Kansas Bob said...

I agree with this Bill:

"I propose that the system we have created is neither natural or healthy to the human mind, body, or spirit....which.....might help explain why so many students don't like school"

Do you think that this is particularly applicable to boys?

I am glad that these students have such as thoughtful and thinking teacher as you.

Bilbo said...

Hi Bob,

I didn't imply this comment to be gender specific and I do strongly believe that education should be more of an exploration and a dance between our conscious, individual interests, needs of our communities, and the deepest longings of our souls. Unfortunately, education, imo, has become about cramming as much information as we can, as quickly as we can, and then supposing some kind of test will "objectively" verify that we are doing our job and our students are learning what they need to know. Personally I think we have lost our way in this country regarding education and suspect we won't figure it out until we realize our latest utopian education master plan isn't working. Just seems to be the ongoing nature of the beast.....Thanks for the kind words and hope my students feel the same way at the end of the year....