I am a teacher, not an actor.

My teacher is NOT an actor.
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A few weeks have been gone since my last reflective post, but after yesterdays seminar I recognized for myself: enough is enough. I need to write about the last days and weeks.

After one month of parental leave with my better half and our newborn daughter I started to teach again. After three weeks I can state so far:

  • To cope with less sleep and less time to prepare lessons is not easy but manageable.
  • “Leading” or driving the lesson forward is working better every time.
  • I definitely need to work on my handwriting and structure on the blackboard – I’m pretty spoiled using IWBs and need to get “back to the roots”.

And I need to confess that every Thursday, the day I’m not in the school and at the state seminar, I’m leaving the building with self-doubts and the uncertainty if the job is the right one for me. The discussion yesterday was about the role of a teacher and raised a lot of questions:

  • Do you play a “role” in front of the class? If yes, what does this imply for me? Does it mean I’m not allowed to show emotions and uncertainty (especially as a beginner) in front of the class?
  • We were asked how we see ourself in the classroom. To be honest, I haven’t thought about how my mentors or pupils have seen me – I was to much bothered to plan and hold my lessons. So I followed the discussion and they came up with some conclusions like:
    • The teacher is a “manipulator” – all the time. Although their definition of manipulation wasn’t only in the “evil” sense it sounds scary to me.
    • Form a asynchronism in responsibility they conclude the absolute necessity of a strict hierarchy in the classroom.
    • As a teacher you do not show uncertainty – never. The teacher is right and the highest authority at all times.
    • The teacher is a service provider for the students, but they limit this because they state the teacher knows what’s best for the pupils.
    • They want to educate their pupils to active, engaged and responsible citizens but they decline real participation in decision making.
    • They state that teachers need a certain personality. That leads me to three questions: What kind of personality is that? Why did nobody tested us before we do the job? Do I have the necessary personality?

I can’t bring all these statements into a coherent picture, neither do I agree with most of them. Two facts cooled down my emotions:

  • My two mentors didn’t say that I’m not suitable for the job.
  • Before I don’t have the chance to see the people who made this statements in front of their classes (and don’t forget they are beginners like me!) I can’t believe that their are living what they are saying.

If you’d like to leave a comment about how you see the role of a teacher and the personality they need to have I would be very happy.