Intimidating AP lady

13Aug08

I’m going to start by saying how tired I am.  I have a feeling this might end up being whiny because of it, but I’ll do my best to curb that.

So, I’ve been at the school all day today (third day now), having meetings, setting up my room, generally wasting time… you know.  Today, I met the new English teacher, and I’m just gonna go ahead and say that she is a scary sort of force to be reckoned with.  She was all, “Do you know THEAOREIWAHJ?” or some other random acronym, and I’m all, “Uh, what?” and turns out it’s this reading interpretation strategy that everyone should really know all about and I just don’t.  At all.  Damn AP and its cult of rigor!  Anyway, then she did the same thing about maybe a hundred other things that proved that she’s a better teacher than me, and here’s me:

“Er?”

“Fwhat?”

“I like pie?”

This is intimidating rather than exciting for maybe a couple of reasons.  First, my status as an at least competent teacher of the most rigorous course our department offers had, at least until today, been relatively agreed upon.  Now I’m all, “Shit!  AP lady might be better qualified to teach my class!  Shit!  Hustle, Jen, get it goin’!”  Moreover, as our principal is thinking of chucking dual-credit classes (college + high school rolled into one) in favor of AP ones, I’m feeling a (I think) legitimate unease about my position as instructor of my favorite class–the College Comp and Lit.  I mean, will AP lady be the new Rigorizor in the English department?  If I’m not any longer, exactly who am I?  The fun one?  Great.

To console myself, I tell myself that she can’t be all that great if she’s coming off as such an intimidator right now.  I mean, do I try to make people feel stupid?  I hope not, though I’m sure I might sometimes.  Not making people feel stupid usually makes me a more effective teacher, I think.

And I’m looking at what I’m writing and thinking, “Good lord, Jen, stop it with the egoizing already.  Perhaps you could, you know, learn something from AP lady–like, collaborate and such.  This is an opportunity for professional growth, not some kind of a pedagogical pissing contest.”  So I’m gonna go with that.  I mean, really.  Cut the crap, me.  But what is it about professional settings–even teaching, where it’s supposedly not about “me”–that makes us all cutthroat and defensive?  It’s stupid.  And that’s my staggeringly erudite conclusion to this boring little post.

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One Response to “Intimidating AP lady”

  1. 1 L

    Well, I think you’d probably feel more like collaborating if you didn’t feel like she was a legitimate threat to your job. I don’t blame you for feeling a little defensive. Or a lot defensive. I say give yourself a few days to get back into teaching and then force yourself to be nice — you don’t owe her anything right now.


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