Monday, August 25, 2008

The Calm Before the Storm

I would like to say that I am in the calm before the storm, and whether I am willing to admit it or not, this life of reading (scrambling for financial aid and apartment hunting) is cake compared to my life in one week. In preparation for my first full semester of student teaching I have been working through the Fall reading list (in no particular order):
The Snapper by Roddy Doyle
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Anitgone and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
I've also been working my way through The English Teacher's Companion by Jim Burke and scrambling to apply his lessons to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks strand by strand. 

I am most excited about those moments when the students are all yelling to get their ideas out or up on the board - those fleeting instances when everyone is engaged and having fun. I look forward to those student comments that throw me off kilter, when they shrewdly cut to the quick of the text/lesson. Those surprises are the fuel (so far) that keeps me going. I love being in a classroom that feels collaborative, that allows me to guide instead of instruct, though I am sure that I have failed miserably on the assessment piece thanks to my open discussions. I am learning a lot about balance and trying to integrate it at ever turn.

That said, I am terrified. I feel like I am supposed to be the expert and I haven't even started (this is a pattern for me). I am unsure about what reading to choose, I have convinced myself that I am all smoke and mirrors, ready to be found out at any moment. I am trying very hard to listen to that tiny voice telling me that I have potential. That little tick of hope struggling to convince the doubts that I may someday be a good teacher. Doubtful voices come through in high def when there are no professionals, teachers, advisors, etc. stroking your ego. 

The high def voices tell me I don't have the discipline to handle this crazy teaching/ studying schedule, they tell me that I won't finish the readings or the notes, or that I'll never be able to integrate everything I'm learning. I need to tune in to the lo-fi, single watt pirate station that says I was born to do this, that all these years of detours and shortcuts-turned-new-routes were leading me here. 

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