Current/Recent Reading List

24 July 2007

One Month And Counting

Until teachers report to duty, and five weeks until school really starts. Since I've been teaching, the second half of summers have always taken on a different hue for me (poor guy, with his summers off). No different now - already there is a slight sense of melancholy over the time that has passed (or has been squandered), and nervous apprehension about what is on the horizon. Even going in to my fifth year at my old school, where the routines were familiar and the kids were mostly known quantities, I got nervous - in fact, I was much more nervous last summer than I am this summer, though I have more reason for it in the present case. What is that all about?

Well, for one thing, moving to a better school with better students has motivated me to reevaluate myself a little more, as a person and a teacher. This is my vocation, paradoxically both chosen and, I believe, chosen for me. All my life I have been a shy, understated person, and while I'm comfortable with this (and don't wish to change my basic personality), I do think it is time for me to step forward with a little more bravado and confidence. Nervousness needs to recede in the face of more important priorities. I've been a good teacher, and think I was one of the best at my old school, but there were many areas where I was ineffective or clueless. To be a master teacher, I must continue to improve. In addition, experience convinces me that most teenagers are dying to have strong adult leaders who can be trusted. It sounds corny, but that is my charge - to be one of those leaders.

Suddenly reads like I'm quite the Calvinist here, with all my struggling and striving , huh? But look, even if I'm lucky and have a long time remaining in this profession, there is another sense in which three decades (more or less) is a short time. With whatever time I'm given, I don't want to feel like I was just cruising along.

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