Wednesday, October 08, 2008
My classroom is covered everywhere in layers and layers of papers. I spend 12 hours each day at school. I am usually the first one to get there and the last one to leave. During those 12 hours I get very little planning done. I'm mostly just trying to catch up on the paper, which doesn't stop multiplying, seemingly exponentially. With all the papers, I loose everything. It's not funny anymore. I loose papers that the kids can't help me find. They're there somewhere, in some pile, but I haven't a clue as to the exact location - I don't even know an approximate location.
I forget to do things and I'm always one step behind where I think I'm supposed to be. I don't know how to catch up and restore my sanity. I'm too confused to feel very effective, or even a little effective. I'm trying to get it all done more efficiently, but that's not working.
The fact that I learned to educate using theory books (my cheerleaders, plus Vygotsky and Freire and folks like them) as opposed to practical books (none of which I can even cite) is, I think, part of the cause of my absolute cluelessness. I don't know how to teach! I don't know anything about teaching. And, yeah, there definitely is a difference. I do know about education. I know a lot about education and can pull out articles and research without much of trouble. But when it comes to practice - I've got nothing.
I've been told by some of the people who observe me that I am a "natural" at teaching, which is ironic since I don't believe in such a thing. However, their notion of my competence is, I think, covering up the fact that I feel that I am not teaching much of anything to the children. I may look good when they come in with their notepad and watch, but I haven't a clue as to what I am doing, what I am supposed to be doing, or how one teaches.