Sometimes students do or say things that make me very upset or angry, and in the moment I despair. Sometimes they do those things on purpose, and other times I’m not sure if they know that they’re coming off brash. All I can do is not take it personally in the moment, try hard not to rise to something that looks and smells and tastes like bait. Parsing apart those sorts of moments or making clever retorts is not what I’m in the classroom for.
But you know, I don’t know, right now I feel like those moments are beautiful. It could be the little coffee high I have right now, but it’s gorgeous to me to have students like that sometimes. Why? Because I spend so much time alone, honestly, doing the work I need to do, enriching myself, becoming a better teacher, trying to graduate and go the extra mile. Sometimes, because I’m so focused on my path, I forget what it’s really like to feel certain emotions.
Why do I get so angry or upset? Because I get startled by the rush of emotion or adrenaline, and honestly I have to thank the student for that. It shakes up my day, but it does not shake me (for long). It makes me oddly hopeful. At the very least, it’s an opportunity for me to learn to be better to the student, by allowing them to see I grudge them nothing, and wish the same for them I wish all the rest. I am still trying hard to learn where a teacher’s duty ends, which is the hardest part: knowing what I can help with, and what I can’t, and not reaching too far over that line. It’s not my responsibility to know why a student does what they do, but it IS my responsibility to give them the same regard and scrutiny afforded the others.
I just want to help them learn things. You hear me? *KING KONG CHEST THUMP OF DETERMINATION* STUDENTS PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE PREPARE YOURSELVES, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T EVEN TAKE ALL MY KINDNESS AND CALMNESS
Still learning every day. Especially since I’m going back to Korea probably, it’s helpful for me to remember that teaching is most often not hearts and flowers, and a lot of the work of teaching is remaining focused.
*note: this post is not about any specific student or event. Do I even have to say that? Teacher bros know what I’m talking about.