Monday, September 30, 2013

Why I Teach

I read this quote on another blog, and it sums up so well why I teach.  
"For me, teaching is about love. It is not about transferring information, but rather creating an atmosphere of mystery and imagination and discovery. When I begin to lose myself because of some unresolved pain or fears or the overpowering feelings of shame, then I no longer teach . . . I deliver information and I think I become irrelevant then."
Since I teach at a small private in the South, I make very little money.  I continue to teach at a private school because I am not allowed to get a teacher's certificate to teach in Alabama's public schools because I don't hold an education degree.  My degrees are all in history.  When people find out, just how little I make as a teacher, they are often shocked and the response is usually, "You must really love teaching."  The truth is that I do love teaching.  As the quote above says, "It is not about transferring information, but rather creating an atmosphere of mystery and imagination and discovery."  I love my job; I love my coworkers; and I love my students, no matter how aggravating they can be.
I would love to be somewhere besides Alabama so that I could live in an environment that is more LGBT-friendly.  I don't expect to live in Alabama forever, but with the current job market for history teachers, I do have a job with which I am happy.  When I find a job in a more LGBT-friendly environment, then I'd weigh my options and consider it, but for now, I am happy.  For now, I will continue working on finishing my dissertation, so that I can complete my Ph.D.

By the way, tomorrow, I go back to court for my speeding ticket.  I called the court to get it continued because it was going to be incredibly difficult for my witness to get off work; however, the clerk of the court refused to continue my trial because, technically, the district attorney had already continued it once.  I find it an incredibly dirty trick by the DA who set the original trial for the afternoon of the first hearing knowing that it was unlikely for the state trooper to be there, because now he was able to have full control of when the trial would be and I would not be able to continue it, no matter how inconvenieced my witness or I would be.  I may not win, but I will have my day in court.  I teach my students all the time about our rights and the equal justice of our judicial system.  I am putting my faith in the fact that justice will prevail and an innocent man can actual prove his innocence, even if the DA and the clerks office treats me as if I am already guilty.


SEAN (The Jeep Guy) said...

Maybe you could try Skyping her testimony or do a video recording of it including the swearing in on the bible part. Best of luck.

JiEL said...

I exactly know what you mean of the fact that giving a course is not only delivering some informations about your curriculum but mostly to give your students the desire to learn...

Give them the «virus» of going farther in their learning..
Not easy for me to say in English but teaching is not given to all...

For you, searching a place to teach with a LGBT friendly environnement, I'd suggest you to look for jobs here in Montréal or Toronto.
We have, in Montréal, many English schools, colleges, and university.
As you say that you have a Ph D. il a +.
There is a shortage in teachers here and the pay is quite good.

Teachers are affiliated to «syndicat» and where ever you teach, private or public schools, the salary is the same.
I know because I was teaching 17 years in a private high school and 20 years in public schools.
I can even say that the teaching conditions were better in my private school..

I also know that in some school board they're even hireing ingeneers to teach maths or science because the shortage of specialist teachers...

I must say that gay teachers are protected by many laws and protection politics from the school boards..
In my last high school,(I was teaching there for 8 years) we were 5 gay guys and 3 lesbians ALL free to talk of our lives and well accepted by all the other teachers..
Some did even open to their students but I didn't and I'm sure that many knew it.

Hope you find a place for you in USA or...maybe in Canada..
BTW, gay marriage is legal everywhere here....LOL!!

Jay M. said...

I love that quote. You should look up here (Richmond), there's some really nice private schools who would probably love someone with real degrees instead of teaching MAs.
Peace <3