September 21, 2010


It all started when I looked at a student and thought, "He kind of resembles my son."

And then I started thinking about my son when he's in middle school. I sent his sister, who just started 6th grade, to her zoned school, but he may not have that choice because he's a much different kid, so I had a flash about what he might be like when he makes it to 8th grade, possibly even sitting my class.

Four years from now that would be.

I thought, "Four more years of this? Same old stuff. Year after year. Oh. My. God. I'm bored silly from doing the same lessons four periods in a row today. Could I really do this same stuff four years from now?"

And it depressed me a little.

That all happened in just a moment while I waited for students to copy some notes about effective conclusions from the Power Point slide. It was a breath. A blink.

Yet also a deep, sinking feeling.

...A little later, while I was sorting some papers, the floor tilted a bit, and I had to lean to catch my balance.

"Wait!" Didn't I have a Jennifer Munoz last year? And Rodriguez. I know I had a few of those. What were their names? Brian...Ana...Jazmin...Could it be? Do they have the same names as students from last year."

The floor leveled again and I realized that it just a distorted--perhaps negative--perception that the students are all the same...year after year after year after year after year.

I usually don't get so unbalanced at the thought of another 15 years of teaching. I don't have aspirations to move to another school to start over. I like my position, and most days it's neither miserable nor enchanting. It just is, and at this point in my life, I'm totally okay with that. But today, I didn't feel so okay.

So what's the deal? Cracks in my contentment? Or something more base, like the need for less caffeine?


your brother said...

Write this on your white board 100 times:
I like what I do and I'm good at it.
You might be convinced after that, or the dry erase fumes might help.

vegas art guy said...

I think all teachers who teach the same grade get that feeling. It's just my second year at my HS and I already have 5 or 6 siblings of students I taught last year. I make sure that I don't judge them against their older brother or sister. And students are not the same every year. My 9th graders this year are way different from last year. In fact they have not even established their personalities yet. Last year at this time I already knew the personalities of my classes. Funny how that works.

Clix said...

Well, while technically the students aren't all the same, there are some patterns that emerge. That's not a bad thing; getting an in-your-bones understanding of adolescent development is one of the benefits of experience! :)

Finally, if you're bored from doing the same lessons... does it have to be the same material taught the same way next year?