Educational Opportunity for Ault

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 12 2011

Leadership and Teaching

So I’m teaching, in Houston. WOO!

Things I’m learning and struggling with:

There is leadership, and there is teaching. On a personal level, I think I make some successes in teaching, but I feel like I’m a bit too young to have this job. I think it’s completely different to be a leader among your peers and a leader among those who are a little younger. One of the problems may be that while I am an avid reader and a little bit of a grammar nerd when it comes to exercises, I’m not passionate about the study of English the way I am the study of history. I know why history makes me a better person, I don’t always have the answer with English.

So I lack vision in my classroom, which makes me a poor leader, but perhaps wouldn’t necessarily interfere so much with teaching as long as I taught the content as it was given to me.

I lack a real goal in my class, and this means that when the kids start having fun in my class, I’m okay with it, because I just want to have fun too. I don’t see them getting in the way of achievement, I see them interacting positively in a classroom.

These leadership follies are starting to make my classroom crumble. What was once pretty okay a couple weeks ago is starting to lose time in every comment made out of turn, every joke that is off topic, every random pencil drop or backpack that gets moved. Each time the same kid falls asleep without punishment because I just feel badly for them (they do wake up too early for their brains) I lose a little strength in the classroom. I feel like all of that vision setting we do in TFA, while valuable, was hard to do when we just didn’t really know what we were supposed to be doing. You have to get in the war a bit to know what you would like peace to be like. I need to just take a day to sit and think about what I would like my classroom to look like, and how to get it there.

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