ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 105, Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Today I realized, for the zillionth time, that I can be a very dumb teacher. I came to school extra-early to finish my plans for the day, and, sitting in the dawn light in my classroom, a flash of an idea for a lesson hit me. I quickly fleshed out how I would present it, wrote it all out on the planning board for the students to see, and sat back for a moment of self-congratulation. Well, a few unforeseen things happened later which made it impossible to present that lesson, and, looking back, I'm grateful … because it was a dumb idea and would have made a very dumb lesson. Now, reflecting on it, I can't believe I actually thought it would be a workable lesson. I'm embarrassed for myself. What was I thinking?
As usual, though, a great amount of good came out of this disillusionment, for it taught me another good lesson in humility. It reminded me that I know about 1/1000 of what there is to know about teaching adolescents -- that truly excellent teaching is a very high mountain and I'm still quite near the bottom of the trail. It ultimately led to me to a hearty laugh as I realized how ignorant I am, and what a silly lesson it was, and how harebrained I would have seemed if I had tried to teach it. In this vast universe, little Mr. Salsich pretending to understand what teaching human beings is all about is quite a funny sight -- and it was good for to me realize this yet again.