Cafe de Desiree

April 4, 2012

Six Year Hiatus

Filed under: Blogging — desi83 @ 7:52 am

I had the year from hell from 2006-2007. I was finally teaching high school English, which was my dream job ever since I was a kid. I was in a relationship with a man who wanted to live with me and possibly marry me one day. He wanted to travel the world with me. I went into that school full of confidence and expectations. I was going to change lives. These students were going to love reading and writing once I was finished with them. I was armed with theories from famous child psychologists and highly experienced professors of education who had revolutionized the field of education. I was going to be the next big inspiration like the teachers in Dangerous Minds, Stand and Deliver, or even Jack Black from School of Rock. Okay, Jack Black? That never would have worked in real life. Michelle Phieffer probably would have been good to just get through the year without being raped killed at that school if it had been in real life. I went into the classroom, and a paper wad was thrown at me when I had my back turned. My classroom was wrecked and things were stolen when I had a substitute fill in for me. There were rumours started about me every time I spoke with a male teacher. I was also teaching students literature and writing who didn’t yet have a grasp of basic grammar and mechanics even though they supposedly learned that in middle school. I had 35 students in one class, the “advanced” English class. Anyone who signed up for it and did not fail freshman English was allowed in that class. I was accused of picking on students by their parents when I attempted to discipline them by giving them demerits when they were disruptive in my class.

I tried these so-called progressive teaching methods that I’d learned in college. The students either laughed at me or became completely chaotic because, what I didn’t realize then, and what my education professors failed to tell me, high school students respond better to structure. Kids like structure whether they want to admit it or not. The best teachers that I had in high school taught using very structured teaching methods. They taught us and treated us as if we were adults. That is why we were all there together, right? The teachers were preparing us for adulthood, for the workforce and individual responsibility. I learned nothing in college about how to teach. I learned how to teach after considering what went wrong and how to fix it. I also learned how to teach by training employees as a retail manager. To top it all off, I have grown as a person. I was 23 years old when I began teaching. I was listening to the same music as they were, dressing the same as they were outside of the classroom, and to some extent, in the classroom. I still had a teenager’s mentality because I had only lived on my own for a few months before I began teaching.

I also was still very naive with romantic relationships. I was in an abusive relationship at the time, which left me feeling weak and powerless. You cannot be a teacher and be weak and powerless. I’m sure the students sensed that in me-the weakness, not the abuse. If your students don’t see you as strong and assertive, how can they respect you? I have been hiding in retail management for six years. I think I have grown a lot since then and learned some very difficult life lessons. I think I’m ready to get my Master’s Degree and come back to teaching as a wiser, more educated, and stronger teacher. I’m good at teaching. I know, because I’ve had employees tell me that. I find myself teaching people how to do stuff all the time because I’m good at explaining things to people on their level, whatever that might be, and I’m thorough. I also am still very passionate about my subject matter. I still read classical literature because I enjoy it, and I learn from it. I still write, obviously, and I’m hoping to do more of that in the coming months in terms of the story that I’m writing. Right now, I am anxious, and I know it is because I’m ready to start my adult life now.


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