Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prepare yourself

I've been reading the first days of many teachers experiences in the many education blogs I've subscribed to. Most are a little frightening, but still excite me because I think I'm more prepared than ever to get it going. I've been reading a lot of "back to school blah" stories, and I'm happy to say that I don't have them, although the comment is constantly "you're still young, you'll get there", which is depressing in itself.

Where's the fire? Has it really been beaten out of all the educators in the world? I have a small glimpse of the hardship through coaching and the crap that occurred last year. Seriously, after the fiasco that was the season (players and stuff were great, the bureaucracy was a trainwreck), I considered throwing it in this season. But that lasted about a day. Part of it was my love for the game. Part of it was because I think basketball teaches as much, maybe more, than the classroom. And part of it was because I could really give a shit about what my detractors think. One thing that the end of this summer has shown is that I'm growing more and more confident that I'm becoming a good teacher. The "Distinguished Educator" award at the end of last year was only the tip of the iceberg. I went to workshops and felt giddy with all the new opportunities that I could present to kids. I received almost two dozen e-mails from ex-students telling me that my class was great and they learned a lot from it. Today, I ran into three students, all talked to me about their life and praised the Government/Econ class. And one of them had failed it!!! Yes, my confidence is pumped! I'm not trying to say that I'm not eternally grateful for my position, or that I'm the most wonderful teacher, or anything like that. I'm just ready to go, really ready.

Add to mix my first meeting with the new principal, whose athletic policy is a mirror to my own, and made me ever so enthusiastic to work for him. It might even be my last season, as I had a source leave me a message saying that I was being pushed out after this season, but I just don't care. The way I look at it, I'll have a great season, and they'll decide to get rid of a very good coach, if that's the direction they are going. I'm just that comfortable with where I am. Instead of looking at the environment, I'm part of it. And it is good.

Sounds supremely arrogant, and I can't figure out how to explain it without sounding in that vain. I'm nowhere near "great teacher" status, but I've figured out the system while maintaining my passion for teaching. I look upon myself and realize that I could be great. How is that bad? Don't all the greats have some semblance of cockiness? Don't we always tell kids "be the best at what you are good at"? It's not like I'm crawling up some corporate ladder and stepping on my comrades on the way to "the top". I respect my colleagues immensely, and I have no higher aspirations than to be the best teacher. I'm sorry if that sounds cocky, but the better teacher I am, the more kids get out of it.

Wow, I'm ready.
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