How do you answer the questions whether there is an importance to teaching?
There are days I think teaching is a lost art.
There it is….the respect for it is long gone.
Sometimes I think this way. Other days, not so much.
Teaching is like anything. Good teachers make it look easy. They barely break a sweat.
Recently, I taught a class in reading of nonfiction. Sounds hugely interesting, huh?
Yeah, the students didn’t think so either.
My first hurdle was attitude. The students were placed in this required class because their reading scores weren’t high enough for college level classes.
The class was comprised of twelve students–four international (two of which dropped out after two weeks), four tyical college aged and three older students, non traditional I guess you’d say.
Boy howdy, was it tough!
The international students couldn’t understand English very well and looked confused most of the time.
The 18 to 21 year olds took everything in stride and although they missed class occasionally, did their best to learn what they needed.
Then there were the older adults. They were the tough ones. I could understand why.
How would you feel if someone told you your reading scores were lacking? You’d resent it, right? Especially when you took a big leap and went back to school to try and catch up your life and have a career instead of a job. That’s tough enough.
Two of the older adult learners would wrinkle up their noses if they didn’t like the correct answer to a test question they had missed. They’d huff at me when I instructed them. If they were confused, they’d grow frustrated as quickly as a toddler.
I knew what they were needing–time, patience from me and differentiated instruction.
I worked at it, but after awhile I simply used the textbook to teach with. There is more to this story than I feel comfortable sharing, but basically….
A teacher will become demoralized if the students and administration don’t respect her.
Yeah, that was me.
I hope teaching won’t be a lost art. I hope young people will continue to become teachers. Recently, both of our daughters decided to become teachers–one a drama teacher like her momma and the other wants to teach nursing. Both young women will do an outstanding job.
Thank you teachers. You are the salt of the earth. Our future depends upon you.