Once upon a time I used to have a life.
I don’t know where it went, but it’s gone.
Somewhere between my first day of university 3 years ago and now, I got really good at the game called university. I could write nice papers and do well on exams. I could remember things and spit them back out a few weeks later and then, as if some sort of magician, make them disappear from my mind all together. I could go to class, do my reading and get grades I was happy with.
Now it’s my fourth year, and the game has changed. All of my classes seem useful and relevant. Only thing is, the rules I learned to play by aren’t going to work. I need to actually LEARN things. I need to absorb a lot of information. And not just memorize it and forget it, I need to internalize it, be changed by it. This is a daunting task for the girl with the disappearing-act-memory.
It’s the third week of school, and I spend hours in the library (are you getting this? The THIRD week. I should get a medal.) These hours seem to amount to nothing when I think about how much I feel I still need to learn. I know learning isn’t like a race where there’s a finish line, but I do feel like there’s a lot I need to know in the next year before I am officially Miss Brennan.
It isn’t the amount of work that overwhelms me, it’s the substance. Present a literacy strategy (hmm, what exactly is a literacy strategy?) Make a blog and sound scholarly (I better start reading The English Journal..) Plan a unit (wait, I’ve never done that before.. I don’t even remember the last time I had to do a lesson? Oh shoot, a unit? What does that even look like? Oh no, I can’t do that. I don’t know how. I really should have been a hairdresser…)
I want to be a good teacher. I want to be a great teacher. I love to learn and I love to see learning happening. I want to inspire, and empower, and build relationships. The classes I’m in now are giving me great ideas of how to begin this process called teaching. I’m really excited. I am also terrified. I question my capability on a day-to-day basis. I walk around with an uneasiness that I can’t quite shake. What if I’m not a good teacher? What if my lessons suck? What if I fail university (this is only when I’m being extremely dramatic and irrational) ? I am consumed by this process of becoming.
Once upon a time, I used to have a life.
Then I decided to go to university and become a teacher.
Need I say more?