Am I Ever Gonna Change?

I am getting into several teaching artist residencies at the moment. I’ve been doing a lot of lesson planning and creating glossaries and worksheets. It feels now like I am finally getting to a point of understanding what makes a successful lesson.
Last week I was teaching a curriculum that was prescribed to me. It did not go over well. Plus one of the teachers was absent so I was basically lunch to the ninth graders in the Bronx. At first I get angry and/or upset. Like, “don’t you know I’m coming here to bring you something good.” It takes some separation to know that an essential part of learning is rejection, sometimes violent rejection, of the teaching. The resistance is caused by a number of factors, most of which have little to do with the lesson and more to do with the person’s sense of self being threatened.
Time and again I am reminded I must manage myself first. To go back to the reasons of why I teach and what I want to give to others. I have to detach from the games and nonsense thrown my way. Most students see teachers as an obstacle for their lives.
I recently read that the bottom line of what teaching artists are imparting is mature and confident adult behavior. I’ve been thinking long and hard about that. I think if there is one thing I am lacking is confidence. Faith in myself and the idea that things will work out as they should. I have to work at that. A lot. It doesn’t come easily to me.
I have been thinking about this as I navigate my way through the subways and down the streets, as I have dinner with others, or simply decide what I will carry with me each day.

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