Thursday, November 03, 2005

let me do the damn thang.

it seems that my old madhatter craziness is returning and i'm enjoying the students again. i've admitted to myself that my personality riles them up and that i'm not good at running a utilitarian classroom. i feel pressure from the Old Regime to run a factory styled classroom and it's just not me. with that said, my kids are scary and animalistic, perhaps cannibalistic, and they do need to be tamed. granted, they are seated (although my third period has some serious problems with this tricky task) and there's some sense of order in my classroom. but it can get a little chaotic.

i know i'm enjoying my students and their antics more because i'm laughing again and sharing stories. i'm a pretty vivacious person and i always have a story to tell, albeit sometimes i have to conclude my anecdote with "okay, this wasn't a very good story" or "that sounded better in my head." i love to tell stories of my crazy high school teachers to my students, and because i had some definite crazies, they usually go over pretty well. i suppose this storytelling is cyclical and i'm the crazy who is and will be talked about for years to come. but whatev.

it's funny, actually. i would never act as obnoxiously outside of the classroom. a few weeks ago one of my students asked, "ms, do you hang out with other teachers? because i just can't see you hanging out with, like, adults." i'm like, "yes, teacher. has. friends." but then i started thinking about the singing, the dancing, the facial expressions, the crazy jokes and laughing, the completely nerdy exuberance expressed over historical data... it's almost like i'm two people. i mean, teaching is acting, but i'm not pretending.

so when my principal recommended me to host a student teacher i hesitated and declined. i feel like my classroom needs some fine tuning, i mean, the car runs but it's not a smooth ride. i run my classroom with a special emphasis on relationships and i feel like this can't be emulated, rather, this is a teaching style that must come from the heart. and, let's face it, i don't think i'm worthy of observation and guidance yet. i think i need a few more years under my belt. you know, for some fine tuning.


Blogger graycie said...

". . . it's almost like i'm two people. i mean, teaching is acting, but i'm not pretending . . ."

yesyesyes This is exactly right! My teacher self is 'way more into foolishness, clowning, being in charge, and hard-eyed discipline than my regular self. (I hesitate to use the word 'grown-up.) In school, there isn't anything I can't do. In outside life, I'm pretty shy with people I don't know, and I am filled with awkwardness and don't know what to do with my hands. I have often responded to the bell that lets'em in by singing out, "It's Show Time!" And you are so right -- I'm not pretending at all.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

This post was so wonderful. If anything, it makes me feel normal, as far as teaching goes. I feel the exact same way about my own teaching. It is ALL about my relationship with my students. I'm a wacky kind of girl in the classroom, too, and there's something dynamic about that that the students cling to and adore. I'm a big believer in the fact that it is not what we teach, but how we present it. For example, I have to teach grammar, being an ESL class and all, but if I say it in a silly or dramatic way, it makes it more fun. I don't know, that's how it is for me, at least.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous emc said...

I've always enjoyed your stories. I think you and I are the same, we just have stuff in our heads all the time, we wish we could just say them out loud all the time, well, without sounding obnoxious or controlling of a conversation. I think it's the Leo/Capricorn in us that craves that "Hey, I got something to say damnit," but then it's our insecurity that leads us to say, "you know, that wasn't good was it..." Ha. At least, surround yourself outside of the classroom with folks like this and you'll be fine.

After my subbing for La Maestra, I have much more respect for your world, what you do and why you do it. You're a brave woman to go in there every day. And I think you'll excel.

11:50 AM  

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