Tuesday, October 04, 2005

You know you love it

Whenever I come in, exhausted, from teaching or conferencing or say anything related to teaching, someone around me says, "But you know you love it." And I always immediately think, "Do I?"

I mean, I gave up teaching 2 1/2 years ago. I gave it up and didn't really look back. But here I am, back in the classroom again, back to planning and grading. Why am I here?

Partly, it's my husband's fault. I started talking about teaching a class on blogging. Next thing you know, we were proposing it. The CIO has been encouraging me to teach a class since I began my position. Everyone around me thinks I should teach--except me.

Oh, I do love it. It's true. Today, I went into the classroom tired, but afterwards, I felt like I'd just gotten a good night's sleep. The students have so much energy, so many good ideas.

But make no mistake about it. The fun does not make it any easier. And it's even less easy to squeeze in while working a full-time job. I plan into the wee hours of the night. What direction should this discussion go? What activities should I do to encourage the learning I want to take place? And then there's the feedback. How do you explain ways to improve writing? How do you do it in ways that encourage people while making sure they know what really needs to be done? How do you know if the whole thing is worth it? In some ways, I like the challenge of that, of figuring out what to say about a paper to help a student take it in the right direction. But then when that student is sitting next to you and asking you to clarify this and clarify that, sometimes words fail you. It's just hard.

So here's what I like about teaching: being in the classroom, helping students one on one.

Here's what I don't like: grading, dealing with "problems," grading

Do I love it? I don't know. Jury's still out. It's definitely an energizing activity and a good supplement to my full-time job. Talk to me in December. I'll have an opinion then.