So it seems that fall is officially here. The trees are changing and leaves are falling off much sooner than they used to when I was a girl living not too far from here. It must have something to do with climate change. We don’t have a glorious mass of vibrant leaves anymore. Trees start dropping leaves as soon as they change color.
It was 90s day at the high school today, meaning kids were supposed to dress like we did in the 90s. Erin and Emily went to the store last night to buy scrunchies for their hair, and yes, they are still sold in stores around here. Both girls raided my closet and found clothes to wear to school today. Dammit! This can only mean it’s time for a wardrobe update. Honestly, Emily sent me this photo after they got to school…if I didn’t know it was 90s day, I’d think it was dress-layered day, and nothing more than that.
So, the past two nights, I’ve been trying to apply for a teaching job –as an adjunct - since adjuncts don’t make much money, and I have two girls to see through college, and I can’t afford to quit my day job. It’s my “great plan” to retire from my day job and teach full time, preferably online classes. Anyway, the “great plan” is mainly why I went back to school for a doctorate (aka Step 1). Even full time professors don’t make as much moolah as flunky IT peons working for Big Oil, and they make even less without a doctorate. So Step 2 of the “great plan” is to teach a night class….get my feet wet. Once I have experience to sell and the girls are situated in college, I'll think about retirement from Big Oil (Step 4). In Step 3, we secure a full-time teaching position.
Somehow, I have to write something, a philosophy, that isn’t lame. Something that sounds like someone who is proficient, and efficient, and professional, and most of all, hire-worthy. Would I hire me? Whatever I write, whatever I write…..it has to be good. Maybe I need help with this.
|leaves not spectacular|
|90s Day at school|
But…I’m stuck. The application requires me to write and submit “My Teaching Philosophy”. Well Lord, I’ve never given my teaching philosophy a second thought. It doesn’t matter that I teach and mentor people all the time, I just never think about why or how it happens. I do what is needed to get the person on his way…so he can work without asking for anymore help. That’s the ideal, although I really don’t mind when people ask for help. Sometimes it seems like their success is partly my success. Helping others is one facet of my job I enjoy doing (nearly all the rest is shit).
I’ve blundered around many times myself when I should have asked for help, but didn’t. I only ask when there's no alternative – like, it’s obvious this task will never get done without help from someone who has a clue. It’s terrible to be in that situation. I figure most people only come to me when they are desperate…so I make a point to be kind, pleasant and as helpful as I can be – treat them the way I want to be treated when I’m stressed out and lost.
In a college classroom situation, students are probably not stressed out and lost. Perhaps they are only bored and just wanting to get through the class so they can get on with life. In that case, I just need to keep things moving and try to make it interesting – keep them engaged in the subject. How? Somehow they need to link the subject being taught with potential future success. Why should this subject\topic be important to you? If it doesn’t matter, why learn it?