April 18, 2014

Reflections about teaching #2

#2 What is the hardest/easiest part of teaching?

The hardest part for me - and for a lot of teachers, I think - is the paperwork: grading papers, tracking data, filling out referrals, calling home, writing SLOs, sending feedback for IEPs, and every other form that's given to us by our central office or mandated by the state.

Keeping up with the paperwork is endless, daunting, worse with every passing year, and it makes for lots of long, long evenings and weeks when I spend the entire time trying to catch up. Every quiz, every lab report, every test has to be graded and returned quickly because there is invariably another assignment coming just a couple of days later that has to be graded, as well. It's daunting and never-ending.

The easiest is the joy of interacting with my students. The things that happen within the classroom, that I can't possibly predict - those are the easiest and most enjoyable parts of teaching for me. When I say 'get into groups and draw these reactions' or 'explain these reaction types to each other' and give my students a chance to talk to each other, to show me what they know, and to give a little of their personality - that's easy and enjoyable and fun.

Summer break isn't bad, either.

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