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Why I want to teach

April 13, 2007

Deep put his hands up for a high five as I walked by.
“Marie!”  He shouted excitedely, “Marie!  I got my first orgo A ever!”  A huge smile washed across his face as I gave him a high five and congratulated him.
Deep’s one of the best sorts of students.  He’s a happy-go-lucky freshen, slightly to spacey to be anything other than an honors student.  While his lab skills are lacking, he’s enthusiastic and willing to learn.  More than that, when he’s figured something out I can trust him to help other students learn it as well.
I’ve taught a lot of students, both officially and unofficially, and they’re not all like Deep.  The list of sins is long and includes selfishness, a sense of entitlement, laziness, and just plain stupid and unwilling to learn.  They make the dumbest mistakes, bitch at me when it’s their fault, and basically drive me crazy a lot of the time.  Some days I get home from work and just want to scream, they’ve been so frustrating.  On days like that people ask me why I want to teach.
It’s the student’s like Deep, who are honestly excited about learning.  It’s the ones like James, who won’t put down a problem until it’s really done to the best of his abilities.  It’s the Sara’s of the world (I love you dear), who completely lack the aptitude but are willing to try anyway and just maybe learn something along the way.
I don’t have a lot of aspirations.  I don’t think enough of myself to feel like I can discover something life changing and important.  What I can do is teach.  I know from my experience that students are more willing to learn from a teacher who is more willing to teach, and I think I can be that person.  I’d like to think that I’d have more Deeps and James’s and Sara’s, simply because they are more likely to exist with a good teacher.  Maybe I can make a couple of students learn to think.  Maybe I can inspire someone who will go on to discover something important.
I approach motherhood the same way.  I don’t think I was built to do great things myself, but rather to give others the tools and the inspiration to do those great things.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 14, 2007 12:01 pm

    “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
    Bravo, and Goddess speed.

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