Ode to Educating


Teaching, teaching, teaching.  Oh, how I loathe you.

You exhaust all my energy–mental, emotional, spiritual.  You age me prematurely.  You keep me from focusing on worthwhile endeavors, like being a better partner, connecting meaningfully with my friends, meeting and enjoying the company of new people, reading books I love that make me feel and see the world differently, actually attempting to focus on and develop and hone my writing, finding and becoming part of a generative community of writers, pursuing further education of different sorts, hiking, snowshoeing, swimming, camping, biking, laughing, singing, sweating, tending my horribly neglected houseplants, learning how to sew, crocheting hats for my loved ones as Christmas gifts, watching old Christmas specials on VHS, ice skating, bowling, traveling, dancing, spending time with my family, helping with projects and movements I believe in, washing dishes, cleaning the house, mending my black skirt, folding and putting away clothes, listening to music, becoming more of a person.  I hate you.

You make me stupider.  Every time I read a comma in the wrong place or a misspelled word, I internalize it, to the point where I used “then” when I meant “than” in a PowerPoint presentation for class today and a student had to point it out to me.  I have become a poorer speller because of you.  My innate sense of perfect comma usage has been obliterated.  (I just used the word “obliviated” in place of “obliterated” there because of you.)  I now have to look up rules about using apostrophes and dashes correctly–a thing unheard of in my past life.

I feel less adventurous because of you, teaching.  After having seen innovative lessons I planned with the best of my creative abilities founder like a bowling ball out of a second floor window, I have learned that safer is better.  I am addicted to the paycheck you supply, and have become reluctant to leave you because of it.  Paid benefits increase the effect.  I find myself terrified to think beyond YOU as a path for my future.

You make me trust myself less, teaching.  I find myself wondering if I’ve ever been quite as intelligent and clear-headed as I think I am, every time a lesson bombs, an assignment doesn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, a student dislikes my class and feels he/she is learning nothing from it.  I came into you with a commitment to liberatory teaching and find myself passing out worksheets and telling kids to, and I do quote, “Shut up and watch the movie.”  I question my motives; I question my abilities; I question what the fuck I’m doing, I question whether I’m doing anything at all worthwhile for/with these kids–ALL THE TIME.

I’ve become a worse human being because of you.  I resent kids I fail; I constantly bitch about how stressed I am; I am irresponsible and lazy and a shithead to those around me, and I blame students for this.  I feel that being a teacher excuses any selfish behavior I exhibit: “I give so much!  How dare you ask for more!”


I lost the energy to finish this one when I returned to it just now.  Anyway, I’m sure it’s all temporary.  But hey!  528 words!


One Response to “Ode to Educating”

  1. 1 J

    Nobody really needs to point out how BRATTY all that was. The morning after, it is readily apparent to me!

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