Sep 7, 2011

On Education, or Getting back in the Saddle

Later this evening I will be sitting face to face with a high school student, attempting to explain why she can't do a compare and contrast on her college essay. Having read the essay in question I'm a little daunted by the task...

This student will be the first person I've tutored in several months, and honestly, I'm a little concerned as to whether I'll be able to communicate the issues in her essay so that she is able to understand what mistake she made, how to correct it and how to avoid it in the future. Less than a year ago, I used to complain and lament with my friend and fellow tutor, Gage, about how much I disliked dealing with the same students and errors day in and day out.

Now, I'd relish that consistency because it would mean that I was so much in the zone of teaching others about writing that I required a new challenge. Well, I've taken some time off. Sure, I've been using my writing skills in the time between but have my teaching skills gone to rot? I don't know, and I won't find out until tonight. Let us all hope that my student and her parents are patient with me. I'm assuming that the teaching skill is in the same set of those skills like bike riding. It'll come back to me as soon as I start doing it again.

In truth, I  suspect it will be like that. I was working with my one of cousin's children last week on a geography assignment. As he and I worked our way through a bunch of different world maps, filling in countries, rivers, and mountains, I felt a thrum in my pulse. It was the sense of excitement I get when working with a student and they begin to comprehend what I'm telling them.

It was that, or the beginning of a headache because he couldn't remember that the countries of Saudi Arabia,  Iraq, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman and some others were often referred to as the "Middle East."

Either way, I'm looking forward to doing it again, to sitting with a student and working through the written language to help them come to a better understanding. I'm looking forward to that thrum of excitement... Or maybe just the headache. Either one lets me know that I'm back in the field of education. That I'm teaching again.

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