Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Job for Goof-Offs!

If you have ever been responsible for teaching someone else how to explain something to another person, you might have some idea of how I feel tonight. My students got one night of instruction--the first night they came to class. Then I felt I had explained to the instructor what was supposed to be taught. So much for "feeling" I had done my job!

When an instructor has students asking questions and can easily answer them (seeing the understanding on the face of the student), it feels pretty good. But then there is the situation when an instructor hasn't a clue. Ideally the instructor goes to someone else and gets an answer and then teaches the student. Ideally.

Tonight I did not have to teach any business math--good thing. I haven't had time to go over the chapter! But I can guarantee that if I don't understand something, I will be Johnny on the spot to go to our accounting teacher for a math lesson. She KNOWS her stuff.

I still don't think I can ever make a form work in VBA for Microsoft Word, but I can make the stupid form work for the one lesson in the book we use. Shaking my head and wondering when I would ever use VBA. But my point is this: If I don't understand something that is necessary for the students, I LEARN what I need to know. Anything else would feel like extreme laziness and irresponsibility.

Teaching is NOT just a job. It is duty, passion, perfectionism, professionalism--whatever. It is not about money and time spent sitting at a desk playing on the computer. It is interaction and helping someone else learn something that matters. Today I assured my English class that they would learn English. I threatened my keyboarding students (gently) into believing that they HAD to learn to touch type. And tonight I assured these keyboarding students that Microsoft Word is their friend and helper. I also assured them that I am THERE to help them. I wish I could know that all teachers would feel this way about their students--about their jobs. But this is the real world. I guess there will always be goof-offs. Sigh.

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