Thoughts on Teaching; A Personal Reflection of 2009

In 2009, I learned a lot about teaching. This time last year I was teaching part time and every day of the week. I wasn’t just the cool artist coming in on a visit, but the actual “teacher” of a class and that, my friends, is much more difficult. I was using my tools of creativity to teach some basic computer skills and it was hard as hell! I learned that “buy in” is everything and that you truly need to achieve and re-achieve that everyday. Every. Day.

Every moment with my students was an obstacle course. Running this course of walls and traps set to protect a young mind from mis-education and disappointment was, to say the least, exhausting. It was also, for it’s challenges, enlightening. Being the teacher for a class of students every day during the school day made me a part of the establishment, whether I liked it or not. To many of the students, whatever I did and whoever I am, there was a cardboard cutout of all they have grown to despise about public education.

Personally, it was extraordinarily difficult to be seen as all that I have such disdain for in education. I needed to look deeply into myself to not only see beyond the grief this inspired, but to also see the parts of myself that do fit that mold of oppressor. Needless to say, this is scary, scary stuff…

Since then, I’ve practiced simultaneously having my guard up and being completely present. Learning to be a little tough with the class while showing my heart. Being forgiving while not “taking any shit” and to be as patient with myself as with the students.


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