Friday, December 23, 2011

Year 2: Winter Break-On Not Being A Teacher

One of the most liberating feelings is walking through a store and seeing a kid misbehave and do absolutely nothing.

When I walk through the halls of my school and I see a student misbehaving it’s my responsibility to intervene even if that student isn’t one that I teach. It’s part of the being a member of a educational community and creating solidarity with other teachers so that students understand expectations in a consistent way.

When I’m not at school it’s a completely different story. Not only is it not required of me to intervene when some kid throwing a fit in the store, it’s inappropriate and fantastic. Why? Because sometimes it’s nice to not wear my teacher hat.

I am very proud of being a teacher but that’s simply part of who I am and I would like to think that if you talked to me outside of a professional context that it would not be completely obvious that I’m a teacher. It’s not that I don’t want people to know it’s that I'm a teacher, rather I would like to think there’s more dimensions to me than my profession.

This does get a little tricky sometimes. Being a teacher is a job of passion and it’s hard to not talk about things that you are passionate about. When people start talking about issues dealing with schools in parties a lot of times I just bite my tongue. First off, most people aren’t bringing these things up to really have a discussion and anyways most people don’t appreciate in a social situation someone opening up a can of “deeper understanding of knowledge” to disprove something someone is casually talking about.

There are times when I can’t hold it in and I show my colors as a teacher because I do represent my field and it’s important that I advocate not only for my profession but the experience of my students.

Once in a while teacher things pop out. Sometimes I give someone a teacher look without thinking about it, which can be kind of awkward (especially when it’s to my wife). This almost always is followed by an apology. Then there’s times when I just start teaching.

Last weekend I had some friends over and we decided to play a board game that not everyone had played before. Someone asked me to explain the rules and without thinking about it the tone of my voice changed and I turned into “Mr. Tang.” It was kind of eerie because I immediately started with a “hook” and explained the rules in a way that related to a main point to focus on and back around to the “hook.”

I guess this is kind of like a mechanic who is with some friends when a car breaks down and fixes the car. I can “teach” in a second.

Am I a teacher all of the time? I guess so. I would like to think that I’m not but I see my life through the lens of a teacher and that’s not such a bad thing. When I meet people I think about ways that I can connect to them, when I face situations I think of what I can learn from them and when I reflect back on my day I consider how these past experiences can help me in my future.

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