Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I think about teaching a lot when I'm in Zumba. Probably because I'm in a constant state of learning: concentrating really hard, failing really hard,having fun, getting frustrated, laughing at myself, trying new stuff. And I've learned a LOT from my zumba teachers about what makes a good teacher, what makes a pretty good teacher, and what makes a teacher who is still figuring it out. (And yes, I'm slightly embarrassed to love Zumba so much. Is it the name? Is it the crazy outfits? Is it the dancing in the middle of the day under fluorescent lights? Whatever.)
Monday, December 22, 2014
I'm jumping into the teacher blogger game. I'm enjoying reading the posts of my colleagues so much and stealing ideas and laughing and shaking my head in recognition so I better start adding my voice. Just a short reflection on grading and then I will press publish and see if this thing really works. First, my blog title. Uncle Kurt is a dear friend of mine, though we never met. He is a mentor and a guide and I love his face and his sweet bitterness and disgust and desire for us all to be better, godammit. Anyway, I was thinking about what to title this blog and I'm sort of coming down off of grading at the end of the semester and I have been thinking about vengeance grading. The kind of thing where I'm pissed cause some kid sat sideways in his chair all semester and turned in shoddily proofread papers and had so much potential and I didn't seem to reach it--we never really connected-- and it's all so much about my ego and my attachment to being this whiz of a professor. And then at the end I am gleeful that he only earned a C--gleefull!! (but only for a second) because then the shame hits and I'm like--why do you want to vengeance grade? And then I think of Uncle Kurt saying--godammit babies, you've got to be kind. And I want mine to be a pedagogy of kindness, but sometimes my ego and my own stuff gets all mixed up in it and I forget what it was to be 20 and jacked up on depression and angst and confusion and hormones. And how school was really not all that important sometimes. I was sad and I wandered lonely as a cloud and stuff. So I begin this blog as a sometimes jerk who wants to be a bit kinder.