It is the middle of July, and I find myself already thinking about the school year. For the first time in my short teaching career, I’m changing subjects. Instead of the literature side of English, this year I will be teaching writing. If I can be honest, I was excited about this move at first, but now I’m not so sure. See, the reason that I never wanted to be a music teacher is because I love music so much, that I wouldn’t be able to teach it effectively. It’s almost like the math teacher that I had in college who was so brilliant and loved math so much, that he couldn’t instruct the class effectively. It was brutal for us in his class. I failed it. Twice.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m brilliant with music, but my passion for it is so great that I could see myself becoming very frustrated with students in that regard. Call it a copout if you must, but it’s my reasoning. I can’t compare my love for music with my like (love?) for writing. I think I’m decent as a writer, but I seem to lack the resolve to see any writing project through to the end. The book that I talked about a few blogs ago? Yeah. It’s dead in the water. Seems that I have run out of words for the moment. For me, writing is an unorthodox, nontraditional way of expressing my mind. When I write poetry, I’m more Frost than Hughes. Or more Hughes than Whitman. I’m this crazy mix of completely disregarding orthodoxy, and I spit in the face of conventions. I believe that writing should be expressive, and who am I to judge how someone expresses their words?
Yet, as a teacher of writing, I have to guide students, many of whom have no interest yet in writing anything.
But I guess it’s not just the writing portion. I want to do so many different things this year. I don’t want this to be an average year, and taking that risk means that I will have to free myself to fail and learn from them. Failure is a fear of mine, and this year will represent me taking that fear head on and throwing caution to the wind. What does that look like? It looks like a messy classroom and lots of noise and discussions. It looks like my admin team coming into my classroom and throwing me crazy looks. It looks like having to apologize to my students when things don’t go as planned.
It looks like me reading more books about my profession than I ever have before, and trying to deprogram what I thought I wanted to do, and reprogram myself into what I think students need.
It looks like me letting go of whatever modicum of control I have and just rolling with it.
So, here’s to not being average. Here’s to not being orthodox.
ok….I’m excited. Let’s go.