As I begin my first spring semester as a college instructor, I’ve come to learn a lot of things about myself, teaching, the students, and the people I work with.
For myself, I begin to understand why there is such a high turn over rate for those who go into teaching whether it is college, the k-12 system, or any private/charter school. It is not only demanding meaning that teachers still work during their time off, but for me, it is more so the stress that these students’ future lie in my hands. What they learn comes from what I teach and especially how I teach the material. Some might call it stress or an adrenaline line rush knowing that while the end goal matters, what’s more important is how that end goal is reached. In other worlds, is it not the destination but the journey. And this is what motivates me, but at the same time, stresses me.
I question if I am doing the ‘right’ thing, do students understand what I am saying, am I going too fast or slow, is the material too difficult for them to understand?
Most of all, I always question or ask myself, “am I doing my ‘job’ as a teacher? Am I preparing them for the next class and maybe some more?”
I do find myself frustrated at times because students are not doing what is asked of them and most of the time it is taking the time to sit down and read something whether it is their daily readings, assignments, writing prompts, or syllabus. Apparently some of them don’t think they need to read all that stuff and they end up doing it wrong. Then they come to me and ask me why their grade is low.
So maybe I am doing my job because some get it and some don’t. And when I find what it is that the ‘don’t’ students aren’t getting, most of the time it is because they did not bother to read the prompts I have given them.