Sunday, June 5, 2011

Apologizes to the Canvas-Eyed Student

To The Canvas-eyed Student:
            A few months ago, while teaching your class, I turned from the white board and faced the class to quickly check for understanding. As our eyes met, failure and ill-preparedness washed over me as I saw your wide blinking eyes gaze at me like an untouched canvas.
            As a teacher, the situation portrayed above leaves a haunting experience in my own mind. The previous glimpse depicts one of my first interactions teaching your class. As you may assume, the lesson I taught did not smoothly rest in your mind, and I’m sure other students felt the same. 
            Nevertheless, to you, the canvas-eyed student, I am sorry: I’m sorry for my pedagogical arrogance; I’m sorry for my poor delivery; I’m sorry for rushing through the lesson and not taking the time to clear your confusion…
            I could continue apologizing for my pedagogical errors; however, where would that get me? I would still be the same teacher on that same day teaching another lesson the same way. I could also make excuses for my failure; for instance, the inadequate instruction I received at my university, but yet again, where would that get me?
            The way I see it, two options stand before me: give up on the education profession, or try my damnedest to become that effective teacher you, and every other student, needs. I, with all my effort, choose the latter. Throughout my instruction and experience, I have heard that individuals striving to become teachers, and even teachers in their 1st to 3rd year of teaching, WILL experience failure, unpreparedness, and any other haunting horrid feeling that comes with the territory; however, hearing the deemphasization of those feeling will never truly settle with me.
            So, to the wide canvas-eyed student, I will stop apologizing for my pedagogical errors and/or failures, and start making promises. Promises that I will continuously try to better my practice and become the effective teacher students like you need.

With determining promises,
~A. Athas

1 comment:

  1. I love that you turned an apology into a promise. This is what they want us to do -- take our practice teaching and learn from it. We are supposed to get these initial kinks worked out before we get our own classroom, though not all of them will be resolved. I'm glad you took this as a learning experience.