Thursday, March 31, 2011

In Which I Learn Things about Myself (also teaching)

Thing the first: I don't think I can teach in a very low level class. I lack the ability to break things down beyond what I feel are their most basic components. There are only so many ways I can explain a thing and if you can't get it after that, I can't help you. This is tricky for me because, for many things, I pick them up without great difficulty. I can't make parts of speech any simpler than "types or categories of words." Just not gonna happen. My master teacher says that it's good to know this about oneself. This is why I'm not in elementary schools. I should probably teach AP classes.

Related to this is the matter of vocabulary. I have spent a great amount of time cultivating my English vocabulary. I enjoy having just the right word for just the right situation. When working with ELD and low performing students, I can't use my full range of language because no one will know what the hell I'm talking about. In my first period, I was reading an essay about poetry slams to them and it had a bit that was the main point of poetry slam. I was describing this and the only words I could think of were "manifesto" and "creed." That's great except those words have zero meaning to these kids. It's frustrating.

Thing the second: I am extremely hard on myself/I lack self-confidence. Also, I'm really stressed out about everything. Unfortunately, being aware of one's issues is not the equivalent of fixing or not having issues. Even my student teaching supervisor, who I've talked to all of four times, said that I'm being too hard on myself. Well, if I knew how to be easy, or just regular, on myself, I would do it. I'm pretty sure I'm suffering from Impostor Syndrome. Uhm, yay? I wish I had any idea how to deal with this. It's kind of fucking me up because I'm so unwilling to talk myself up that I'm botching employment opportunities. But I feel like I'm lying when I say I'm good at things, so it's really hard to know what to do.

Thing the third: my master teacher has a 7 year old daughter who is really smart and I am kind of the adult version of her kid so we're kind of giving each other insights about that. My master teacher pointed out to me today that part of what messes me up is what when I'm faced with a choice, I see 400 options or courses of action, whereas a normal person sees maybe two. So I get overwhelmed, can't decide and sometimes go in a completely different direction. I do really well when someone narrows it down for me a little bit. I mentioned to her that I had no idea what I was doing in resume and cover letter writing, and she pointed me in the right direction and I was able to fix it immediately. But when there's too much choice, I am ruined.

Otherwise I am really enjoying student teaching. I am feeling a bit less shy about it now so I am being more normal/goofy. I think I have a pretty good rapport with the kids, which is great. I've realized that my favorite teaching game is password (put a word on the board, a student in front of the board, and the other students have to get the first student to figure out the word). I also like putting the "confetti" text effects from MS Word on things because it amuses me (and also the students).

I've been busting my ass to get a job. I think I've applied for like 70+ positions now. I hope I get something. I've also started applying for some non-teaching jobs. I want to work with information, either as a teacher, librarian or archivist of some sort. So, I've been looking up major university libraries and applying to some jobs there. Something will work out.

1 comment:

  1. Dear friend
    We seem to be in the same shoe, but however i think understanding self and the time we are in could give us a better solution.