Sunday, April 22, 2012

End of semester

I am about to submit the grades for the two courses this semester, and this often leads to self reflection. I am not going to do that now, but I will do something better: link to the self reflection of a teacher that is well-written, funny, insightful, sometimes reflects my own experiences, sometimes not at all. So I highly recommend William Bowers' "All we read is freaks" for all educators.

I could extract so many passages out of this long piece, but this is the one I emailed to myself:
I begin: “Let’s hear some gut reactions to last night’s reading from you guys, to give the illusion of open discussion before I enforce my agenda.” I admit to offering minor doses of edutainment. These kids are TV-saturated and sometimes sit there waiting for the world to break into a spectacle, and so I meet them halfway, which prevents class from becoming an academic purgatory or a filibustering standoff. I also exploit whatever residual hipness my relative youth  allows. The secret, of course, is that I feel a need to perform and to be liked; embarrassingly, in a conversation with a tenured prof, I once referred to the class as “the audience.”
How can you come up with this: "the illusion of open discussion before I enforce my agenda". I laughed so hard, but then I started thinking about it, and I am probably guilty of this as well. And how often has my class turned either in academic purgatory or a filibustering standoff? And how I wished I was a better performer? All in 3 sentences, imagine what the rest of the essay is like? Go and read it.

No comments:

Post a Comment