Friday, March 24, 2006

Hoop Jumping

I started off this morning by meeting with the director of composition about my class, which he observed on Wednesday. While it wasn't all bad, he did pick up on a weakness in my teaching that I'm aware of and self-conscious about but don't know how to fix: I have trouble telling my students that they're wrong, and I try to downplay my displeasure when one of them fails to do whatever they were supposed to do. The problem is that I'm really sensitive to embarrassing situations, so I avoid putting my students in them--sometimes at the expense of my own authority. Assertiveness: not a strength of mine. On the inside (and sometimes on the outside), I am possibly the shyest person I've ever known. (Read: In high school, avoided like death being the one to call and order the pizza. Wrote and rehearsed scripts for all non-routine phone conversations, which sometimes looked like this: "Hi. How late are you open tonight?" Seriously shy.) The fact that I get up in front of 25 people three times a week and talk and make lame jokes and give instructions for 50 minutes without having seizures amazes me. So I think wielding my authority with confidence is sort of the next step. But it still makes me sad to have someone actually notice and draw attention to this problem.

Now, I'm supposed to be reading and making notes in preparation to write my second comp exam tomorrow, but the only thing I've managed to finish in the past three hours was a too-long nap. I also ate a whole cookie. But tonight, I can't seem to wrap my head around the disparity between the real and the ideal in Romantic poetry, even though I prefer Romantic poetry (especially Keats) over most other poetry. My poor tired brain might actually be demanding a break now, instead of just asking nicely. It might even be on strike.


Blogger Jessie said...

great. i can't wait to be evaluated. there should be a blog quiz titled: "What Kind of Teacher Are You?"
our one and only director of comp could create the quiz. you'd look like a sushi roll or cookie crumbs. i'd look like mexican food or a pile of beans.

(starting here, imagine this part is crossed out) excuse my language and my lack of professionalism, but...
this fuckin' sucks.(crossed out up to here) (the html code wasn't accepted)

I mean...what a great opportunity to better my teaching skills!

3/24/2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

sorry, my last comment didn't make much sense, did it. :|-

3/25/2006 8:37 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Some of it did. :-)

3/25/2006 9:36 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I am not really "shy" but I hate conflict and true embarrassment, so I can see where you are coming from.

I am also intimidated easily. It is one reason I've mainly lurked here (You don't have an off-putting vibe, you are I feel out of my depth a bit. That is a compliment btw! I got brave when you dedicated a whole post to "Laid" by James.)

Maybe it is my personality, but I would rather have a teacher err on the side of being sensitive and concerned than too harsh or brash. I would choose that for my children as well no matter what stage they were in their education.

Just me though.

3/28/2006 2:20 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Thanks, Loralee. (For the compliment and the...I don't know what to call it...affirmation about my teaching style? You leave insightful comments everywhere you go, which is one of the reasons I've only lurked at your blog. I think my comments would be a disappointment.)

3/28/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

Thank you and you are welcome! (I also highly doubt you would say anything disappointing. I like what you've said to other people) :D

3/28/2006 11:26 AM  

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