Today I found myself pondering the same thing throughout the course of the day.
After resuming my teaching duties at the high school Monday, I have been wondering if the very characteristics I possess that have the makings for a very good teacher might not be the same makings for a very poor teacher.
Now, before anybody jumps to unwarranted conclusions, I am not suggesting that the school year will go poorly or that I will be a poor teacher; quite the opposite. Indeed, despite the fact that I gave a quiz on day one and assigned some ten pages of reading and a one to two page reflection paper due (both due by the beginning of class tomorrow), three students have already signed into my class! Everybody always said work was supposed to scare students away…
At any rate, I am very excited about the school year and classes on Monday went very well, if I do say so myself (and I do).
However, after falling behind already on day one, I was left with this observation: I am both overly ambitious in planning tasks and easily sidetracked/distracted/tangented (if I can be permitted to create a word).
Being overly ambitious in the classroom can be a blessing because it gives a certain direction and impetus to planning and teaching, yet at the same time it gives the risky proposition that more can be accomplished in the classroom than is feasibly possible for the students to grasp.
Being easily sidetracked can be a blessing in the classroom because it allows me to answer the students’ questions and teach them where they are (Monday we talked about ugly statues of Jesus, what beauty really is, the beast 666, and cherubim and seraphim; and we were supposed to be talking about the person of Jesus Christ [it all fits in somehow]). Yet at the same time it gives the possibility of never sticking to the curriculum (it’s a good thing the state doesn’t dictate what I have to teach in religion class!)
It is good, I think, for me to be aware of these two tendencies and to seek ways to keep them in a healthy balance each day that I teach.