Real Teaching.

I wonder if other people think as much as I do about stuff. I mean I think hard about things. Things that are difficult, and I don’t want anyone to think I am troubled or unhappy. To be honest I find myself giggling alot these days at the silliest things. I find myself absolutely touched by things, every single day. I find things that inspire me, I find people that intrigue and interest me, but somehow it is the things that trouble me that I find myself writing about. I don’t know exactly why this is. It just – is.

Perhaps my giggling is a sign of my insanity. I giggle when Dave at the Zen Center puts his arms out for a hug and I squeeze him tightly giggling against his skinny chest. I giggle when Caroline at the Zen Center smiles at me she is giggling too, and I tell her I want to pinch her cheeks. A student overhears me fake whining about how I am a terrible teacher ( I am just struggling this week with kids with cabin fever and this weird dynamic that is happening with my boss and the new coordinator for the arts. (dude he has observed me three times but refuses to talk to me about whatever it is that I am doing wrong) the student says to me, Ms. if you were such a terrible teacher would I have given you a Valentine? No I say I guess not. I laugh. I giggle all afternoon about this one thing. I giggle because another student says to me as he walks by, Ms. G. do you have a Valentine, nope I say I don’t okay then he says I will be your Valentine. I giggle when the men come in to put in my kiln FINALLY can you say over a decade without one? And one of them is openly flirting with me and I am flirting back. My friend teases me and asks if I sealed the deal with a number. No I say I cannot be that girl. I just can’t meanwhile I am laughing. And then I am making other people laugh too. Annoying crush guy (so not annoying!) calls me out of the blue. Dude what are you doing to me? Really? Ugh. I walk out after hearing the message, like a kindergartener stomp stomp, grumpy face arms crossed. I walk by some other women at work, they ask me what is going on. Nothing I say like a little kid, NO-THING! They laugh at me. I encourage it.

Yes I think I might be half crazy. I think I need to get out of my damn head and try to do something else.

I ask a fourth grader to read the Elements of Art off a poster on the wall behind me. He struggles with the word line. I look him in his eyes and say, listen if you cannot read you need to put every bit of your energy into learning it NOW. He looks into my eyes. I know he and I are connected. Someone from across the room says something, I turn and say hush, I am talking and this is important. (It is an inclusion class and they are the kindest kids, one of them is autistic in this group and I see the children helping him with such a warmth and loving kindness, that I do not feel it is embarrassing for this other kid. I am watching his face and he is not turning red or looking stressed by me addressing it in front of the class, how can he deny it when I told him to read the word line and he couldn’t. They know. What was said was something along the lines of: I will read it for him) I turn back to the kid. Listen I say, I get it, my Dad could barely read or write, he told me that I had to do better than him, that I had to work hard to get ahead. I get how hard it is. But you need to know this is possibly the most important thing you can do for yourself. I will help you if you need it so ask me. But you have a job to do, right now, and you should do absolutely nothing else until you GET IT. Learn to read. Learn to read. Learn to read! He is still eye to eye with me. I know there is mental connection. I tell him listen use that Native American strength of spirit, put that strong heart right into it. Work at it. Do it. Okay he says. Two minutes later, arts coordinator walks in to observe me. Figures. He missed the important part. All this art is inconsequential to what just happened. And he will never know.

It is a struggle though, that people only seem to see the trouble, not the good stuff, not the strong stuff that is the meat of this life. I keep trying. What else can I do?

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One comment on “Real Teaching.

  1. Writing is good therapy – it seems to help us sort things out. “Good” things are always happening while “bad” things are happening, or so it seems to me. I hope you don’t give up on teaching – we desperately need teachers who are willing to do what you’re doing, even if the recognition might be long in coming…

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