|eating while teaching--radical self-care!|
i just finished grading final projects for my english class, a class i swooped in on for the last two months of school (we all know those are the hardest months, right?) to fill in for a teacher who was on medical leave.
|a bit from a cool student project|
what is my job here?
well, i can't tell you that today, but i can make you a little listicle of the ill-formed notions that flashed by as i stood on the edge of the grading/judgement cliff, and most of them were about what my job is not, or what i want to resist as i move forward in this profession/vocation:
1) my job is not to enforce standards. i am a teacher, not an enforcer.
2) my job is not to prepare students. learning is a thing in and of itself and should not be diminished into the preparatory position. my job is to teach students to love stuff & engage with it while in the classroom, at the very moment of classroomness.
3) my job is not to train a workforce. my job is to teach students to love their work.
4) my job is not to protect and preserve culture. my job is to help my students exist in culture, recognize culture, and make culture.
5) my job is not to rank students, but to educate each individual according to their needs. (all education is special ed. future blog post on marni c. and many future teacher spotlights to come.)
i don't have enough clarity to define what my job is at the moment, and it's possible that i never will. i do have a firm notion today on what i refuse to participate in any longer, and i hope that a more beautiful and sustainable practice will emerge from the above listed refusals.
bell hooks emphasizes wholeness on the part of the teacher in "engaged pedagogy" (way more posts on bell hooks to come!) and says that "any classroom that employs a holistic model of learning will also be a place where teachers grow and are empowered by the process."
i plan to share a few things on this blog from the coming school year that i learn about:
*mixed level instruction
*racial justice in the schools
*civil rights & education
*human rights & education
*gender equality in the classroom and schools
*ableism in the classroom
*anything my readers, should i come to have them, want to discuss