OMG I Missed Teaching

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Cause knowledge is power!

Sort of.

I missed teaching.

I didn’t miss the joys of adjuncting: not knowing my schedule, having to hold “office hours” that no students showed up for because I was just an adjunct, having absolutely no job security, having no support or help from the colleges I worked for, getting paid way less than a full-time teacher while having all those issues listed above… Well, the list of things I don’t miss is probably longer of the things that I do miss.

I missed teaching.

I didn’t realize it until I was teaching again. As a sort of nervous habit, I check Craigslist for jobs. Most of the time, all I do when I search is look at things, think “I could do that,” and then realize that either I can’t do it or there’s no way I want to do it. Things like working at a pre-school or teaching in a foreign country fall under the things I don’t want to do, and writing at a full-time job fall under things I can’t do (see my other blog to learn why full-time jobs aren’t right for me right about now). Regardless, I check the listings semi-regularly, and a while ago, I found a listing for teaching writing classes for continuing education. I thought, why not? And I applied.

I missed teaching.

I didn’t know that I was really missing teaching at that point. I just thought it might be fun to teach again, with less of the stress and pressure, and in a condensed time. I figured it might be kind of neat to come up with all my own stuff and be able to talk about something I loved doing. I went in for the interview, talked about what I’d teach, and got the gig. So starting a few weeks ago, I showed up with a ton of notes, a lot of pieces of flash fiction to read, and a cool writing exercise to do. And the students really seemed to like it. It was fun, for them and for me.

I missed teaching.

I didn’t think I had missed it. I definitely didn’t think I would regret my choice to stop teaching. But on some level I did. On some level I wanted to go back and start teaching again. But then I went back and thought about all the bad things about adjuncting, and I thought maybe I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I had. Maybe it was for the best that I’d stopped doing that. But that didn’t mean I had to give up teaching altogether. Cause here’s the thing:

I missed teaching.

I need to teach. Deep down inside, it really is my vocation. I like giving people new information, helping to guide them through how to do things, sharing what I’ve learned. That is what I miss. I don’t miss all the bullshit that goes with higher education. But I miss the connections, the ability to help other people and know that they are going to move ahead in their lives (or their hobbies or in any way whatsoever) because I was there for them.

So maybe I don’t miss *the* teaching, but I missed teaching.

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