Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Beg To Differ...

.:The Radio Bug Is Biting, And Biting Hard...:.

Yes, I'm still heavily contemplating this. And I'm really thinking about doing a megapost about my love affair with radio the way I did about teaching. Thankfully, there's less... baggage to go there than there is with my teaching story.

I really ought to stop looking at the past. It does nothing but depress me, honestly.

.:Hopefully, NOT My Final Thoughts On Teaching...:.

When I had consultations with Dr. Angeles a week ago, I began to see her side better, and I understood more why she felt I was not pushing myself hard enough to excel.

I don't blame her at this point if she fails me. I feel that it genuinely is my falt, and a part of me will simply scream if I end up teaching in Bel 308 to begin with, baggage and all...

But you see, there was something she said to me that struck a nerve. I know that she meant that it was a matter of opinion, but I still feel that I'm well within my rights to disagree with her.

I wasn't asking for any clemency. Any academic deficiencies she may have with me are academic deficiencies that she has observed fairly. What I disliked were the assumptions regarding those deficiencies, though, mainly that I try to "wing" it, which was definitely not something I was trying to do at all. I work hard and study hard because it's my damned money I put into my Masters.

But then, Dr. Angeles said this... I don't believe that "kindness" is a primary virtue for teachers.

I know this is a matter of personal opinion, but I have to respectfully disagree.

I know where Dr. Angeles is coming from, insofar as I believe she's saying that "kindness" is a weakness when you cut students too much slack instead of insisting that they do well in class. For a college/graduate school teacher, that makes all the sense in the world.

The thing is, I don't come from that school of thinking. As a guy who has the utmost respect for high school teachers, I believe that the best teachers are also among the kindest ones. Kindness doesn't mean cutting people slack when they shouldn't be doing that. Kindness doesn't mean being a pushover.

For me, a kind teacher is a teacher who cares to know what the students are going through. As a high school teacher, you have to be tough because otherwise, the kids will be the death of you, but you also have to be kind. If there's one thing I learned from Reedley, it's that a bit of kindness goes a long way. You are teaching students, and for them to learn, you have to make them understand why it's important to learn.

Of course, we can go and say that "it's their job" to learn, but really now, we can't live in an ideal world all the time. Sometimes, the gap is crossed when the teacher goes the extra mile.

I'm still hovering on the fence at this moment where I'll be going after all this hoopla, but at the end of the day, I have to disagree with Dr. Angeles. For me, kindness is a primary virtue for teachers. It's not how smart they are, or how cool they are that makes them great teachers. It's how they manage to connect with you, how they manage to influence you, and it's rather difficult to influence someone when you don't have a heart to influence them with.

I know Reedley isn't perfect, but this much, they never failed to highlight...

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