Tuesday, March 06, 2012


     Whenever I stop to think about it carefully, I realize that the work I do as a teacher is more complicated than the work engineers, mathematicians, and scientists do. This goes contrary to the typically accepted attitude toward teaching – that it’s a fairly easy profession to get into, that almost anyone can do it, that it’s not, after all,  rocket science. Most people would never put teaching and astrophysics on the same level of difficulty. The astrophysicist, people would say, must be much more astute and discerning than a teacher because he is dealing with a far more sophisticated subject. People, I think, generally see teachers as having considerably less distinguished minds than engineers and mathematicians. I find this more and more puzzling as the years pass, because teaching seems ever more multifaceted and mysterious to me. What I do each day in the classroom  has become a boundless mystery. When I look at students sitting around the table in my room, I often feel like an astronomer staring into the faraway remoteness of space. After all, these are human beings I am dealing with, and I am attempting to do nothing less than assist in the fashioning of their immeasurable lives from the inside out. In the entire universe, there is nothing more complex than a human being, and I am entrusted with helping to shape the minds of thirty-eight of them. I find that astonishing and scary to consider. I feel like an astrophysicist trying to understand the most abstruse kind of rocket science. However, I'm not an astrophysicist. I'm more fortunate than that. I'm one of the chosen few, the elite, the beautiful people, the true aristocracy, the crème de la crème. I'm a teacher, and I couldn't possibly be prouder.

No comments: