After my post yesterday on how my teaching job has changed over the years and how I changed and seemed to have lost my passion, I have been thinking a lot. I felt exhausted and did not know exactly why. Then it dawned on me: what I wrote yesterday was honest. For the first time I have been absolutely honest with myself, and searched for the reasons, the real reasons that made me a less motivated teacher.
The thing is: once you stop looking at the factors ‘outside’ of your own head and behavior (even though there are quite some), it becomes possible to change. When I believe people can change their behavior, and sometimes by that, change their inner convictions, my attitude towards school work can change too. When I believe, and I do, that teaching goes two ways and I can learn a lot from my students, it’s time to work on that. To recreate that openness and find ways to involve them the way they deserve, I need to be prepared. Better than ever. Only when I have my canvas laid out and sturdy, they can play and build on it, and, with their help, I can change patterns or even deconstruct some pieces as we all see fit, without losing myself somewhere in the process.
So it’s back to the drawing board for me. I have 2,5 months left in which I have more alone time than usual. I’m going to read until my eyes fall out. I’ve already asked my school for a digital newspaper subscription in the target language, so I can make decent course material. I’ll refresh what I have learned about language acquisition and I’ll try to read on immersion (because that is what I am going to do – immersion teaching. With one big challenge for me: the language in which I’ll teach is one I know thoroughly, I have the needed certificates too, but it’s not my mother tongue. I feel like that makes a lot of difference. An awful lot, especially since I’ll have some native speakers in my group).
The whole soulsearching thing also made another question pop: I need my home to be a safe haven. What does it take to make my home a safe haven, not only for me but also for my loved ones? If I am going to properly invest in teaching again soon, I’ll have to maintain that family time at home is sacred. Not only sacred though, but peaceful too. I have been quarreling with the kids a lot lately and it doesn’t do us justice. They are tired from school and I am tired of things not going like I had in mind (see a theme here? Things in my mind always are better than in reality. I need to see the beauty in the real again). We all lose temper. We all feel like home is not what it could be.
So I’ll work on that too. 10 weeks and a lifetime to go!