Friday, October 25, 2013
Learning (part two)
Whew. I wrote on Wednesday when I was in a fog of negativity. I felt all that I said, but the content of that post? It isn't what I mean to keep here. This space is for the heartfelt moments, not the angry ones. I've written about sadnesses here before, just not the kind I was thinking about on Wednesday--not the kind that rise out of being too tired and reading too much bad news. That's one thing I've learned--I have to be cautious about the news because I have a limit and I must be able to concentrate my energies on the things closer to home, the things I can do something about.
I wrote once about my goal for this year: to matter. I am learning, slowly, that part of mattering is becoming the best teacher I can be. And to do that, I have to shut out a lot of negativity. You run into a lot of it when you want to teach middle school. Everyone thinks you're crazy. You say you love middle schoolers and people tell you that, after a week, you won't--even though you spend a full day with them every week and you cannot help loving those dramatic, moody, endlessly energetic kids. They drive you mad and they can be ridiculous, but you cannot help loving it. What you don't love is the way people expect middle school kids to be mean, awful, disrespectful, and so on--because if we expect them to be that way, always, we set them up to fail.
Ask me about all this again in a year, when I've spent two months teaching middle school English. I will probably change my mind. But right now, as I prepare for the career? I have to be ready, but I also must be a little too naive. It's better that way-it keeps me going and makes me prepare. And although I'm optimistic and hopeful, I'm still realistic. But that's a conversation for another day.
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