Monday, November 24, 2003

A walk was just the thing...

and all is right with the world once again. The crucial thing is to walk in just the right direction at just the right time of day...

Well, maybe not all is right. Thing is, I'm having a mid-life crisis, or as the title of a book I saw in B&N recently put it, a "quarter-life crisis." I have been working hard since high school! Very hard! Without a break! And of all my friends in their mid-twenties, I am nearly the only one who has lived in the same city, held basically the same job, and dated the same person for over three years... so I'm feeling a bit settled. I don't have an overly romanticized idea of what youth should be like, and I'm not unhappy with job or city, and certainly not boyfriend!
Still, I'm definitely feeling confused about what I want and need at this point in my life.

Sometimes I think teaching is not the profession for me... I am way too perfectionist, and not positive-spirited enough. The perfectionism is a problem because there is always more work to do as a teacher, and I just work and work and work, and worry when I take it easy. The positive-spirited thing is a problem because when kids fail to meet my expectations, I have trouble remembering to praise the ones who are doing well rather than sniping at those who screwed up.

I've been having a lot of these thoughts lately, probably because I'm feeling a little insecure teaching physical science. It's not my passion. I love earth science, I love life science. And I know a good deal about those topics, and have a lot of perspective on how all the little pieces of knowledge fit together to form The Big Picture. This is not true for physical science. I know almost enough to teach it well, I don't particularly like it, and I do not have the perspective to organize the information really well and help the students see why it matters. So, basically, when my school hires another science teacher, I need to make absolutely sure that person's strengths compliment my own, and they can take over physical science and do an awesome job with it and help the kids get excited about it. Then I can go back to a subject that I love.

Today, it was easier for me to be positive, naturally, because I was in a much, much better mood. I hate re-teaching, but I think I did it with grace, kindness, humor, and a useful structure, and I think the students will go back and study the things they missed and do much better on Wednesday's make-up quiz. I need to find a fun, science-related activity to keep the kids who got 90's or higher happy, since they don't have to retake the quiz.

Sometimes a walk is just the thing.


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