Matters of Priority
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak before my college’s Admissions and Standards board, to defend my blog against allegations of unprofessionalism. I decided that I had better things to do, and I submitted a lengthy statement instead.
My sister graduated high school yesterday. If I was going to get back to the house in time to leave for the ceremony, I’d have to leave Fresno at the same time the board convened. Showing up, I decided, was not worth the effort.
What bothers me most about the whole ordeal — I’ll detail it briefly, if at all, tomorrow — is that I’m not bothered. When I first came to grips about the possibility of not being a teacher, I didn’t panic, and I didn’t get stressed. I was relieved.
Even before the first meeting, I had already developed quite a bit of trepidation about entering the profession. The decision to become a high school teacher came when I was in high school, back when I liked high school. Without any other motivation or guide, inertia continued to propel me forward along that track.
Three years after I entered college, I entered the credential program, with no real job to my resume — pocket change came from being a columnist for the school newspaper, working as a camp counselor. I had no real-life experience, and that worried me.
After having experienced the highs and lows of the teaching job, and weighing my options, I realized that leaving teaching forever appealed to me. That was back in my first, unblogged semester of student teaching, so instead of heeding that instinct, I kept working at becoming a teacher.
It makes no sense to give up now, especially because everyone has a messy, uneven and, until the end, unsatisfying student teaching experience.
I took that advice to heart.
I convinced myself that my dislike of teaching ended once I saw my students, ignoring that it ignites up again at the end of the day, when I would be ridiculously tired, even more tired than I had been after the many 15-hour days during summer camp.
When finally it seemed that my aeroplane of student teaching wasn’t soaring, but sputtering after that first “blogging is unprofessional” meeting, I considered saving grace and goodwill. I would have done it, if I were heartbroken, and I would have ended my blog if I thought it would save my career.
Teaching, I decided, isn’t my career.
Rather than land gracefully, I took the controls of my aeroplane of student teaching, making a sharp nosedive, come what may. I decided to continue my blog, this blog.
Continuing this blog wasn’t a nosedive because I thought blogging, the way I did it, was perfectly acceptable, though I did and do believe that. Continuing this blog was a nosedive because my program disagreed, and minced no words about it.
Dr. Bruin disagrees, I reasoned, but the worst he can do is to kick me out of the program. When I don’t want to be a teacher, that doesn’t faze me, does it?
My biggest worry yesterday wasn’t staying in the credential program and eventually redoing TaskStream, or even the chance of being booted out of the program and never having to redo TaskStream. Why would it worry me? My credentialing sheepskin won’t do me a whit of good outside a profession I decided I didn’t want join, a profession I didn’t very much like.
Yesterday, I didn’t really want to speak in front of the Admissions and Standards board. I didn’t do what the Kremen School of Education wanted, to begin with, because I didn’t want to be a teacher, and a simple do-or-die-but-mostly-die meeting wasn’t going to change that. All I worried about yesterday was making it to San Jose, in time to see my sister graduate.
I made it in time. Yesterday was a good day.