Sunday, October 11, 2009


I don't think a public blog is really the place to get into it, but I had a really rough week. The last thing I wanted to be doing, at the end of it all, was hosting an English Camp for kids at my school but that die was cast awhile back and so Saturday morning found me teaching four straight classes how to "Walk Like a Monster" and "Hop Like a Werewolf" (little known fact: werewolfs hop).

The camp was from 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday and for it I had to make two lesson plans on a Halloween theme (I chose the theme... my school, my theme). For the first lesson I had the kids play "Mother May I" with the aforementioned thematic twists and on the second day I taught the kids Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance. Which, for those of you keeping score, meant I had to learn it too. There is a special pathos to learning the Thriller dance from a youtube video in your furnitureless living room while you feel like shit. Everyone should get to experience that at least once in their lives.

The part of teaching that makes it so hard, and so great, is the total focus you need in the classroom. Maybe for those teachers out there that have been in the field longer it's different, but when I'm teaching there's no room in my head for anything else. Keeping the attention of a roomful of kids, getting them to stop hitting each other, and trying to rustle up some enthusiasm for the English language requires all of my resources. One teacher I know said that he knew his students not individually but by their class's personality. Some classes are good, some are bad. That's just how it is.

I think I'd take that one step further. Teaching a class is kind of like being in a relationship. When they're happy you're happy, and when they're sad you're sad. I'm not going to dwell too extensively on the metaphorical connections between romantic relationships and a roomful of children but I think that connection really saved me this weekend. Making a bunch of 5th grade boys twirl like princesses and leading 3rd graders through the Thriller dance drained me but I felt better after. As stressful as it's been I feel grateful to have found work I can lose myself in.

Funny though, I still don't want to go to work tomorrow. I guess some things never change.

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