Steel Curtain

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 21 2011

Doing more harm than good

Good news!  I have graduated from college!  So now I have quite a bit of free time before I head to induction on June 19th, meaning that I am focusing solely on pre-institute work.  I’ve also been really trying to mentally prepare myself for what I have committed to.  Admittedly, I’ve started to become deflated (already…I know).  I think I am finally realizing just what I have to do during my first year.  Do I really have to come up with a whole year’s worth of lesson plans all while trying to meet (and exceed) state standards?  I’m looking at the big picture and am becoming overwhelmed.

Yesterday, I went to my old high school for the day to observe some of my old teachers.  I went to a really awesome high school and received a top notch education.  Now that I am a college graduate, I look back and realize just how over-prepared I was for college and just how easy things were for me solely because of my high school education.  I wanted to go back and digest every detail that made my high school so wonderful.

My teachers were thrilled to have me there and were SO helpful.  I was feeling really good about my experience, until I went home that day and realized just how wonderful they were.  This should be a great realization, right?  I had the brightest and most dedicated teachers.  How is that a bad thing?  All it did was make me realize just how much I don’t know about my subject and how much I don’t know about teaching.  These teachers are truly the masters of their profession.  My anatomy teacher could be a heart surgeon if he wanted to be.  My biology teacher could be a geneticist or a pharmacologist.  But they aren’t.  They are the most intelligent people I know teaching and passing along as much of their knowledge as they can in the hopes that one day their students will be surgeons, geneticists etc.  I have so much respect for everything they do.  I watched as my old teachers took two bites of their lunch and sacrificed their prep periods to help students.  I didn’t see them sit down once from the moment they arrived at school at 6am to the moment they left (which was quite late into the evening by the way).  How could I possibly be as great as they are?  How will I be able to saturate my students’ brains when I don’t know nearly as much as I should?  How will I keep my students engaged, well behaved and literally sitting forward in their seats ready to absorb every word I say?  Maybe I will do more harm than good.  Maybe I will cheat these students out of a quality education.

Or maybe I will succeed.  Maybe I will make a difference.  Maybe I will touch the heart of at least one student.  Maybe one day, my students will come back to my classroom to observe me.

I guess all I can do is start by “setting big goals” right?  :-p

One Response

  1. RJ

    Recognizing how much you don’t know is the first step.

    Good luck on your journey.

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About this Blog

The chronicles of a Connecticut teacher. "It is better to be an optimist and proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

High School

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