Nagging at me for the longest time has been two separate-but-related remarks from RM, a student, and Jav, an inveterate sexual predator. Jav wondered why older teachers are so often useless creatures, permanently entrenched in rote methodology, cashing check after check, coasting on fixed pay increases, and grinding out thoughtless lesson after thoughtless lesson.
Separately, RM predicted in Geometry that after ten years in the job, I wouldn’t be so “chill.”
“No way you’ll still be doing ‘Fake or Legit’,” he said.
It’s kind of scary for a competent, young teacher to contemplate. As Jav suggested, maybe there’s something endemic to the system that forces good, young teachers into complacent mediocrity. IS THERE?!
At Thursday’s math conference at the county office (where I was the only high school teacher … bummer) it was just weird looking around, wondering … is that me in a few years? Unkempt? Humorless? Pregnant? Like, are these people aware that they’re trying to appeal to the single most image-conscious demographic in the world? Ain’t gonna happen while wearing a pink Gay Pride Marathon t-shirt, honey. Were these people once as conscious as I am of these things?
And how can RM be right? Why wouldn’t I throw up these fake-or-legit slides which I’ve already made? I just don’t understand the metamorphosis of a teacher.