Soooooo I’m actually swapping a last minute goal. “Teach a term at a university” was on my original draft at the beginning of 2015, but after a bad experience at Portland State University where I ended up flatly refusing to teach a class, the goal got scratched from the list. Instead, I thought I would try to sell some lessons online. In fact, a former student even made me a very cool logo – but then teaching opportunity at Concordia University just sort of fell into my lap; an offer I couldn’t refuse.
Last night, I wrapped up our final session of “Differentiation in the Learning Community” for secondary level teachers. Of course, I haven’t officially finished grading all of their portfolios and submitted grades, but to me it feels finished…
Overall, it was really challenging, but also really rewarding.
The hard parts:
- Working my regular job all day, then haul ass across town to teach a four hour night class, only to turn around and wake up for work the next morning. So exhausting.
- Planning an engaging four hour night class. These poor people also worked all day – how would I keep them going until 9pm?
- Having no technology on the first day of class. I had never been to the building and was only given a key code, and found out my room was behind schedule, which didn’t exactly jive with the super engaging videos and audio content I had planned.
- Not having time to eat dinner.
- Having to tell a graduate level student that she needed to turn in her homework or I would have to fail her.
The good parts:
- Working with people who are new to the field of education was reinvigorating. Their souls have not been sucked from them…yet.
- Planning a rigorous class that forced me to learn more, too.
- The paycheck. And right before Christmas!
- The professionalism of my students far surpassed that of the current teachers I work with. They showed up on time, turned in thoughtful assignments, and treated each other respectfully.
- No matter how many times I told my students to call me by my first name, they kept calling me Professor Deacon. As in, “Errr Professor Deacon? I forgot my textbooks…” or “Let’s consult Professor Deacon on this one…” Say what?! I should start signing my checkbook this way.
But seriously though, they were actually fun to work with despite the fact we were ALLLLLL struggling to get through a Wednesday night. They were willing to be my guinea pigs and have deep discussions about poverty and privilege.
Will I do it again? Absolutely – but not next term. I need to catch up on my sleep just a little bit. That’s also assuming that they ask me to teach again, but at least from my perspective – it was a total success.