A search on the web shows a teacher has for many reasons to teach despite it all.
- Our reasons are varied, yet powerful.
- The meaning of our lives is to inspire kids.
- You do it for THAT kid.
I have always tried to operate under this theory: The harder a child is on you as the teacher, the more s/he needs you to be good at your job.
Like little Julie*? Who you could throw the textbook into the room and leave, and 180 days later, she’d have completed all the work? Yeah. She doesn’t need you. I mean, you love her in spite of this fact. After all, she’s wonderful! And hopefully, she will learn more with your guidance that she would have without it. But, still… You are not a crucial adult in the journey to success in her life.
That one (ten? thirty?) who drives you crazy? Who doesn’t know social cues? Who doesn’t appropriately respond to authority figures? Who won’t pick up a pencil, let alone complete assignments, without your constant prodding?
He needs you. In fact, he has little chance without you.
And there lies an interesting paradox: The harder they make your job, the more important your job is for them. The more crucial you are as the teacher.
The harder a child is to teach, the more he or she needs you.
I sometimes chant this little mantra when I am so frustrated with those most difficult students.
One thought on “Vol.#54: The Pupil Paradox”
Well, my first mantra is usually “It’s only temporary…”
No, seriously, it’s more like “Find the connection. Make it matter.”