Prepping for lecture tomorrow; been putting it off. Now that I am finally in the zone, and steadily making progress with lesson plan, I find my self being my own observer. Why the long delay? Answer: disinterest is infectious.
One of the classes I teach, the one tomorrow, is on policy advocacy and macro practice; students are adults who are primarily mildly interested in system-level work. I would not be surprised if they are among those who view social work as a short-cut to a private clinical practice. Midterm course evals don’t lie, revealing that students find my teaching style “above average” but the class, overall, as “below average”; one says this class “requires a different lens with which to see the world,” and another says, “it’s dry and hard to apply.” So maybe it is me.
This explains the vibe I get from students most weeks: terror of being called on (since they didn’t read), reluctance to participate (since they didn’t read and I make discussion mandatory), disinterest. Of course, it’s not hell, but, it is at least purgatory (in the humid South, during Jim Crow, and I’m colored). Especially for someone like me for whom macro work is a passion, a comfortable niche, this is hard to swallow.
I feel like a rejected suitor. How long should I keep trying to make progress?
Then I remind my self: In teaching, as in life, the enemy is mediocrity; it leaves students and teachers, alike, unfulfilled.
Mediocrity’s juvenile ally, isn’t it Disinterest? I say it is. Must not negotiate with disinterest; it is irrelevant.
Must not allow an infection of disinterest; it is toxic. It festers; and it ulcerates.The vaccine? The only thing I can tell my self this minute is to remain focused on living what I love: awakening not just the mind and but also the spirit. That is why I remain happy to be teaching.