Monday, April 20, 2009

"Blue Sky Fishing Shack", oil on canvas, by Elizabeth Fraser

Teaching Journal

Day 126, April 20, 2009


     This morning I fell into a suspicious and distrustful attitude during one of the 9th grade classes, and it’s disappointing to realize that I’m still capable of descending to that level of silliness. For some reason, I began feeling that certain kids in the class were ‘misbehaving’. I noticed one or two whispering together, and occasionally there was a soft outbreak of giggles while I was going through the lesson. I’m not sure why, but I fixated on those scattered, inconsequential trifles, and before long I was thinking like a police detective: Who is going to misbehave next? Who is going to be caught by Detective Salsich? Looking back, it appears that this attitude hung around me like a cloud for most of the class. I was covered in a cloak of suspicion, rather like Sherlock Holmes himself. I’m afraid I was much more a police officer than a teacher. Well, there’s no reasonable point in scolding myself about it; instead, I should put on my ‘scholar’ hat and learn something from it. I should remind myself that teaching is about being open-minded and trusting, not myopic and skeptical. I should re-study the great teachers of the past who knew that scholars learn best from those who trust them.   

No comments: