Sunday, February 10, 2008

Why I love teaching...

A couple of weeks ago, when I was still in the throes of the loss of Mr. K, Squadratomagico tagged me for the meme that was going around at the time, about why one loves teaching what one teaches. I haven't been able to complete it until now - I have begun to feel better in the last few days, both about Mr. K's loss and in terms of the depression that I've experienced for the last three months or so. (Gee, how much of that do you think has to do with the fact that the sun is starting to come up before 7am these days, and is shining warm on my face as I write this, while the temperature rises above freezing and I can hear birds?)

I've never been explicit on here about what I teach...the country is too small for me to feel as if I can name my field like that. But I'm sure attentive readers have been able to read between the lines, and I'll say it now (though will probably edit it out in a day or two, to prevent future identification, etc.).

I teach X.

[Redacted]

So, yes - for all of my ambivalence about this field, there are some really, really valuable things in the teaching of it, that enrich me as a scholar and as a human being.

5 comments:

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like your classes would be interesting to take. I much prefer when profs present the information without trying to shove a certain perspective down your throat.

Brigindo said...

Great post. I'm able to cross-list all of my courses with the Women & Gender Studies program in my university, since my field lends itself to Gender and .... And because I haven't found a way to teach that doesn't include issues of gender, race, class etc. I have to say I totally agree with you about the students who are attracted to our WGS program. I hate to admit how much more I enjoy them than most of the students in my own field. What I think I like best though is having a real mix in the class so not everybody is on the same page. Makes it challenging but exciting.

I'm glad you're feeling better and hope the sun keeps shining on you.

Belle said...

This is a wonderful post, and shows your empathy and passion. Like brigindo, I haven't found (or looked for) a way to teach history that doesn't include issues of gender, class, race, privilege etc.. The students don't expect it, but they hear it and sometimes I get those lovely moments when students connect the personal with the social and the political and are astounded. It is wonderful.

What Now? said...

Great post. It's wonderful to teach a subject in which you see students making connections between the academic subject and the world around them and their own position in that world (and on and on ...).

Back at St. Martyr's, I always taught Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles in the required American history & lit course, and I had the privilege of seeing more than one student become a feminist before my very eyes -- very exciting!

Maude Lebowski said...

this post is precisely in part why i think you're just the cat's pajamas. still have yet to respond to squadro's call myself.

what a great post. i aspire to this. i love reading about your teaching.

i, too, am glad that you're feeling better. though i generally am not a big fan of spring, this year, it can't get here fast enough.