Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A, B, C. It's as Easy as 1, 2, 3.

I began to like my students today. I've heard, before, from my many friends who have taught English 101 at Western, and my friends teaching 401 at UNH, that the first term's students are irreplaceable. That I'll never get another bunch like them. That I will always have a special place in my heart for those 24 shining faces. And it's true. I began this semester, resentful of the fact that Student X was not, in fact, Student A, that Student Y's comments were not nearly as insightful as Student B's, and the rapport I had spent nearly 16 weeks building with my students, my kids, my little proteges, was gone. Dashed to the ground. And I had to start from scratch.

Moving into the second week of the semester, however, I am hopeful for this bunch of kids. I ended last week wondering what I was doing here, wondering--yet again--why I am teaching freshman composition at 8 in the morning while it's 15 degrees outside (New Hampshire necessitates changing into teacher clothes only once I arrive to Hamilton-Smith), wondering what I am doing trying to teach these sleepy 18 year olds how to write when all they really want to do is go back to bed.

But today, after tripping on a student's feet, getting chalk dust all over my skirt, and discussing the use of humor in David Sedaris, I'm back at it. Imparting my knowledge. Spreading ways of thinking and being in this world. (I have yet, Matt, to find a better job description for the composition instructor.) And loving it.


Yellow said...

I love this, and I love the moment that things shift. I think funny, unplanned moments really help- like tripping, chalk dusting, and, of course, Sedaris. On my evals from last quarter, a student made a comment about my awkward sexual jokes (none of which was intentional- I'm just that good), but I think those "real" moments are when the walls come tumbling down and you're all just freezing half-asleep people working to get through it together. I shouldn't comment early in the morning, I get all Oprah-ish.

Joanne said...

Oh I do hope when you change into teacher clothes you wear the outfit in the picture. That'll really get your students attention.

Chelsea said...

Ohhh, 8 am? That's brutal in winter. Clearly, you are amazing if you can manage to still like your students AND make witty remarks ;)