Friday, November 4, 2011

Week Ten: A Spiritual Occupation

In teaching my first formal lesson this week, I initially felt like I had more questions than answers. While I knew I had tools to use when things didn't go as planned (and most things went as planned so it wasn't necessary to use them), I also realized that I wanted MORE tools to choose from. The more experience you have in the classroom, the more tools you have developed to draw from, and the more successfully you can tackle problems when they DO arise. More strategies also means that you can implement ones that are more appropriate for a given situation. My lessons this week have also taken me on a personal journey as I attempt to view the positive (and sometimes mind-blowing) accomplishments of my students and ultimately come to the realization that (even if an activity doesn't go as planned) learning HAS occurred.

My professor's statement about teaching being a "spiritual occupation" stuck with me. It's something that I've been mulling over for the past couple of weeks, and I have to agree. I'm not sure I can describe why this is, but that I have no other explanation for the moments when I see that my students truly "get it", the feeling I get when I've taught a lesson, and the realization that I am happier on the days when I am in field and in a classroom, the days I am involved in my students' learning in one way or another. As I contemplated the implications of teaching as a "spiritual occupation" I couldn't help but wonder who else was affected by this statement; is teaching a spiritual occupation, and if not, how would you describe it?