I Seem to Be/But Really I Am

April is winding down and so is my class's study of poetry. Today in attempt to bring out an introspective side of my students we tried to write "I Seem to Be/But Really I Am" poems. Perhaps it was asking a bit too much at the end of the day in sweltering heat. As with past attempts, the results were mixed. But as these things often do, it brought about some valuable reflection on my part.

Teaching the poetry to the kids today presented a question to me: What kind of teacher do I seem to be? I thought about this in terms of how I'm seen to my peers and also how I'm seen by students. I was also reminded of the portfolio I recently turned in for fulfillment of my Masters that was meant to be a portrait of my teaching the past two years. Finally my thoughts turned to this blog, and the narrative this has come to represent of my teaching.

I worry that I seem to be at turns apathetic, boring, and humorless. I worry that my students, co-workers, professors, or the readers of my blog might miss who I really am, and there is nobody to blame for that but myself. Before it's too late, I'll try and remedy that misconception.

Who am I really as a teacher? In spite of my frustrations over seemingly endless testing and mindless paperwork, I go into work each day excited and thankful for my job. In spite of the distractions, that's all they are. The core of my job, the kids, are a constant source of excitement, joy, wonder, and yes, challenges. In the course of a day we laugh and joke, we explore and question, we fight and reconcile, we grow and reflect, and undergo countless other processes minute and profound.

At the year's end we will have completed an incomparable journey that will leave us all irreversibly changed. And if I've done my job well, the changes in my students will be unquestionably positive. This is not a job that can be done in the presence of much apathy, boredom, or humorlessness. I hope I don't seem that way to those who observe me, because I don't think that's who I really am.


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