What Teachers Make:: A Pep Talk from Poet Taylor Mali

Comments

Joni Rodgers said…
Love that. Thanks, Dr. KatPat.
I spent fifteen years and then some teaching. All those people that say "But you get your summers off" have no idea what a demanding, critical role our teachers play.

Nice to see someone put it so amusingly. :)
Suzan Harden said…
Wow.

So why do we make a system where the brave, brilliant teachers like Mr. Mali leave? Our kids need teachers like this.
It's been 17 years since I taught my first class as a TA, at the University of Cincinnati. And only once in those 17 years have I had a summer "off" from paid work. And of course we all know that those of us who write AND teach spend any time not doing paid work also working . . .

That said, I really love my job. Both my jobs. I just wonder how sustainable they are and how much longer I can continue to do both of them together. It's one thing to get four hours of sleep a night when you're in your twenties, entirely another when you're approaching 40.

It's funny too how those of us who love teaching and take it seriously can never really cut corners. I swore this semester that I would cut back on my grading, because I've started an additional part time job and taken on an additional class at the prison. Then I get the first set of playwriting exercises and I think "wow, these would be great teaching tools, if I just typed them all up and gave them out as handouts so we could workshop them . . ." I still might do that, but I'm starting to be more and more conscious of how I spend my time. It always feels like I have to take time away from something--Mark, my students, my writing, myself, and now my dissertation coaching clients.

I've said it before and I'll say it again; teaching's a really easy job to do poorly, but if you want to do it well, you'll work very very hard.
Wow, I had no idea that was so long! Guess I'm experiencing a little angst!
blossoming said…
Love this. So great that this teacher takes time to compliments students on their acts of courage. I need to do that more often.

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