Saturday, May 18, 2013

A very part-time teaching position (Hooray! and Egads!)

I interviewed for a 1-day a week teaching position but did not get it, which I expected.  Due to it being a 7:30-3:30 position, I limited my available days to Monday or Tuesday when M would be in preschool so that my mother wouldn't have to watch a child

It was good practice to go through the "interview" process, although I'm certain not needing a job changes how I present myself a bit.  Of course, my nonchalance could be partly due to the wisdom of aging and feeling confident in my own skin and with my experiences.  Also, I'm simply not good at bullshitting.

One boost of confidence was seeing how good I look on paper despite being a stay-at-home mom for 9 years.  Between my freelance writing and various volunteer activities, in resume form I look like I have contributed more to the world than just delightful children and clean toilets (although those are exceptional things to have contributed to the world)!

I wasn't upset at not getting the 1-day a week job for two reasons.  First, I would have likely missed G's first day of kindergarten, and that bothered me although it wouldn't have kept me from taking the job. Secondly, I happened to hear about a 1-class a week position teaching middle school Language Arts at a local cottage school and was offered that job (much to my surprise).  

This Language Arts position will allow me to teach the classics (my favorites like The Odyssey and To Kill a Mockingbird) to students who are well above grade level, and while this is very exciting it is also a little nerve-racking.  When I taught in the public system, it was actually the "regular" kids who I enjoyed teaching most, not the advanced children.  

Whenever I've taught advanced children I have worried that they will be smarter than me (or more well-read) and that I will not challenge them enough (and make their parents happy).  However, as I've been planning my curriculum I have been remembering my time teaching AP students with more clarity, and I have recalled that while they might have been very bright children, they saw the world and literature through inexperienced children's eyes.  There was plenty they did not know that I could push them towards, and this realization has helped alleviate some of my anxiety.  

In my short time in the classroom, I developed a reputation as a really good teacher (and some would say excellent), but I have reservations about this characterization.  I don't say this in a "fishing for compliments" kind of way (because I have plenty of ego that doesn't need much feeding).  Given my limited time in the classroom, I was probably pretty good, and I certainly gave 110% effort, but there was lots I didn't know and much that I would do differently now that I understand kids better from having lived with them for almost a decade.  

The past few weeks I have been reviewing the core educational standards of my state, reviewing literary classics and beginning the process of rereading them, creating an online survey for my prospective students to take so that I can see what they know at this point, and generally feeling cognitively alive in a way I haven't felt in years.

And that is a nice feeling.

1 comment:

Giselle said...

Congrats! It sounds like a great way to get back into the game!