Friday, December 10, 2010

We have a teacher who is forever making comments about how unprepared she is. She talks about how she has no lesson plans--no idea what she's going to teach next period and how unprepared she is, generally. She brags about winging it in classes and other commitments. She's very young, and I don't think she understands just how bad this sounds. She seems to think it's normal or at least acceptable to be totally unprepared, not only for her job, but for anything else. It's frankly embarrasing.

I was young once. It's hard to belive, but I was. Once upon a time, I made the same comments--not as an adult, but as a student. I was a terrible student and was usually unprepared for class. I was lazy, unmotivated, bored, etc. My point is that I'm talking about when I was a teenager.

Things happen. I can't imagine walking into a classroom and having no idea what I'm about to do or say, but I understand that things do happen. And maybe this teacher isn't being honest--but what could the purpose of that be? She is essentially saying that the profession all the rest of us have chosen isn't worth her time. And she somehow thinks that's funny or cool or...something.

I mean, if you don't like your job, get a new one. Seriously. Why spend your life doing something you don't want to do?

It's a shame. It reveals, if not a deep-seated laziness, then an acceptance of laziness. And let me tell you, if you don't already know, laziness is a hard monkey to shake. (I'm not sure that analogy works, but I love it.) I grew up lazy, and it's been the bane of my existence. My family's idea of a vacation was watching "Bonanza" reruns on TV. We worked hard during the days and sat hard in the evenings. I drive myself with that same work ethic--I work 12 hour days, minimum, plus squeezing in some writing when I can--but I still struggle with this engrained laziness. When I go home, I watch TV. It's a shame. Sure, I can justify it--I just worked 12 fucking hours and managed to do some writing and send some work out. You expect me to go for a jog?--but I'm also getting to the point where, when I wear blue, people mistake me for Veruca Salt pre-juicing.

Okay, so I'm driven. I've gone from discussing someone who isn't prepared for work, to being prepared for life. Sue me. We spend much of our life at work. And life isn't "I've done enough." It's "what have I done?" Who wants to live a half-assed life? I don't. I wish I'd figured this one out 20 some odd years ago, but oh well. Back then, I didn't know there were options.

It's snowing outside. I'm going to walk through it for an hour or so, start a snowball fight with some students, and go make hot chocolate. Maybe after that, I'll watch "Dr. Who" on TV. Oh well. At least I have a plan. It's a lesson.


Glenn Buttkus said...

Was it Woody Allen or Ghandi
who said, "If you want to hear
God laugh, make a plan."
Yet, your point is well taken,
and this idea that anyone can
"wing it" when it comes to
teaching is delirious with

JB said...

I remember the blind terror of my second year teaching when I had too many kids and not enough time and there were whole days (or weeks?) when I just flew by the seat of whatever it was that kept my mouth moving and the kids relatively quiet. I HATED IT. I don't understand how people live whole lives like that - unexamined, un-changing, un-imagined, un-planned . . . and yet . . . you know what I was like when I was younger. Plan? What plan? What IS a plan? I still have a hard time committing to play-dates with people I dearly love because I simply don't know, can't see, am not certain what the future holds. This is horrible and also wonderful at the same time because look what happens when we don't plan? We meet people we shouldn't. We go places we never considered going. We get our cars locked in garages until 5 am the following morning and spend the whole night wandering the city, aimlessly, exhausted but also, somehow, more alive than ever. We fall in love. We find our passions and live by principals we didn't have as kids and might not keep forever. Ain't life grand? Now, go plan your lessons for next week or I'm going to tell your boss . . .

CLBledsoe said...

You're right! I'll never plan again! Whew, that's going to free up some time! :)