Perhaps, it is because I am the son of an engineer or for some other reason I like to think of myself as a builder, but I enjoy constructing things with students as I inhabit the space of my classroom daily.
Lately, I have been pondering this question as I have been trying to define what it is I enjoy about my job. Often times, I feel as if I get lost in the day to day mundane tasks of school life. There are parts of my job that I do not enjoy as much as others. I really don’t like doing the boring paperwork that appears in various forms and I often have to force myself to do it because I know it is required. I know that overall it serves a purpose so I do it, but I do not enjoy doing it.
I think the thing I enjoy most about my job is the creative process that I get to engage in on a regular basis. When we are making lessons or coming up with a new project I find that is when I have the most joy. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with students and getting to know them as people in order to help them grow, but there is part of me that likes the process of creating more. I am more of an introverted person who becomes drained by the interacts with all the people I work with all day, so I enjoy working with people but am exhausted when I am done. I also know that not every job is like this where I get to make new things on a regular basis and it is a part of my job that I really enjoy. Perhaps, it is because I am the son of an engineer or for some other reason I like to think of myself as a builder, but I enjoy constructing things with students as I inhabit the space of my classroom daily.
I have always been able to make my lessons better by really asking myself what went wrong and how can I make it better. And, that lets me grow as a person and feel like I am moving forward, which brings me happiness.
I think this is part of the job that is really difficult because you are making new things over and over to make them better, but it is the most rewarding part of working in a school. This process never really ends, due to the fact people or environments change, or we are just trying to get better. I have never become bored because I am always tweaking or making my lessons better. I also love to watch how a lesson comes out and improve it for the next group. There have been some lessons that have been really bad when I totally missed the mark, usually when I have been shifted into a different group of learners. I have always been able to make my lessons better by really asking myself what went wrong and how can I make it better. And, that lets me grow as a person and feel like I am moving forward, which brings me happiness.
There is something rewarding of actually using the lessons you create as well and sharing them with a class of students as well. I have created lessons in the past for other purposes, such as curriculum or classes I have taken and I was always disappointed that I didn’t really get to use them. I have since looked at some of my older lessons I created while an undergrad and they are seriously lacking in a lot of areas, but I almost wonder if they would be better if I had an audience to use it on? Is it the creation of the lesson that makes the day or is it the interactions with students that makes it? For me it is a combination of both. I find that I also feel this way about soccer when I am coaching. My schooling is much more rewarding if I can take the thing I have learned applies it to working with other people and see how it goes. I also find that I remember the strategy more if I do it this way as well.
Do you enjoy building as well? What is your favorite thing about teaching?