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February 01, 2005

While the Getting Is Good

Outer Life, on his early but soon aborted career as a college instructor:

All this taught me a lot about my teaching, and much of it wasn't good. I did not instill an interest in the subject, assuming the students would find it as interesting as I did. I was blinded by their inability to work at my level, failing to acknowledge many of the little improvements in their work. I connected only with the best students, incapable of seeing my class through the eyes of my poorer students. I took it personally when my students failed, and they knew it. I ignored their concerns, assuming I knew what was best. In short, I expected them to be just like me, and they weren't and would never be. . .
And I listened to what I'd learned, I changed my methods, I started to really teach, I began to appreciate how difficult it is, I discovered I have no talent for it and, as I saw myself flailing and ultimately failing at something I once thought I'd been good at, I began to loathe my weekly teaching sessions almost as much as my students did. I vowed to find something else to do with my life, thankful that I figured this out before I'd inflicted further damage. . . .

Outer Life is an excellent blog, although it takes up "literary" subjects only occasionally. Most of the posts are ruminations on ordinary events and concerns, and they are usually very thoughtful, in a delightfully understated sort of way.

February 01, 2005 | Permalink


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