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11/18/09

get a life, child bride

I had to step foot on Westminster's campus today, and it was not pretty.

This is what happens when I visit the University of Utah, in case you were wondering.

When I visit Westminster, I feel annoyed. I remember all the hours spent in classes with no point other than to convince me I was secretly racist, and that the only way to cure myself was to use a graphic organizer. Sure, I had a couple of awesome professors/classes, but the jury is still out on whether I would consider my graduate program to be a

a: Complete yet necessary waste of time.

b: Completely unnecessary waste of time.

Anyway, despite all my misgivings about Westminster, I still found myself having a funny internal dialogue while walking across campus.

Me :(in my head, not out loud, because I am silently crazy, not out-loud crazy.) "I wonder if Professor X is on campus. Maybe I should say "Hi." I could tell her that I am did a simulation activity last week, and it went really well. And she would probably ask me to reflect on what I could do better, and I would tell her that I had ALREADY REFLECTED the crap out of my simulation, and come to the conclusion that the concept of the activity was great, but my students needed a little more scaffolding along the way. "

"Then I would tell her that I developed an awesome Funds of Knowledge* activity for Our Town, and she would beam happily about my multiculturalness."

And then I did the same thing you've been wanting to do through your computer screen for the last five minutes. I mentally slapped myself in the face and said (again, mentally) "SNAP OUT OF IT FREAK. YOU GRADUATED ALREADY."

Looks like I've discovered something about myself. I'm a positive feedback addict. That's why I kicked so much academic ass in college. Because nothing makes me happier than an teacher/authority figure telling me "Good job! Gold Star! You are so talented!"

Needy much?

I've also discovered that this need for positive reinforcement has spread into my teaching life.** Sometimes I will be in the middle of teaching, and I will realize that I am all alone in a classroom of 15 year olds. I could do whatever I want. Best -worst-case scenario, I could be doing nothing, or putting National Treasure into the DVD player everyday. Worst-worst- case scenario, I could be... well, you've seen the news lately, I bet you can imagine some worst-worst case scenarios.

Anyway, I've often found myself hoping for someone, ANYONE to step in, see me teaching, and tell me I'm doing a good job.

And then, once again, I mentally slap myself in the face, and move on. I know the real solution is to develop more confidence in my teaching abilities, and focus my addictive personality on my caffeine committment instead of my need for positive reinforcement.


But somehow, scheming up ways to get an A++ in teaching seems much more fun.***







*FOK. FOK. FOK. LOL. Any Westminster alums out there? Anyone remember FOK? Anyone want to bludgeon themselves?


**Surprisingly, my "needs" are all academically or professionally based. I wish I could transfer it into needing positive reinforcement for doing the laundry or learning to cook, or learning to be less grumpy, but alas, no, we cannot pick our trials.

*** And by "fun," I mean "dysFUNctional." Hahaha! I'm such a punster.

13 comments:

Jess said...

steph. you get an A++ in teaching. you are welcome.

Brooke said...

I'm glad someone else out there shares my semi-sick obsession with report cards and academic feedback. Gold stars are the greatest. I wonder if professors and teachers get as excited about teacher evaluation results as their nerdy students get around grade time.

gurrbonzo said...

Hey, child bride?

Good job!

The Boob Nazi said...

FOK reminds me of the South African pronunciation of the f word. Thanks for putting that in my mind haha

Mrs. Clark said...

Positive feedback! Positive feedback! You go! You're already a terrific teacher because you ACTUALLY CARE if your students learn something! Rah, rah, rah! Go MCB! Yeah!

Mrs. Clark said...

Education is rarely a waste of time. And I saw the news stories about the female teachers and the 15-year-old boy--eeeuuuww. I'd like to think the adults who were in charge of my kids for 6 or more hours each day had a little more self-control than that.

lindsey said...

Don't hold your breath on that positive feedback...I waited 7 years for my principal to recognize how awesome I was and shout about it from the rooftops...never happened.

Teaching is one of those delayed gratification things...in 5 years when your students still remember you and want for you to be part of their lives because your class meant something to them...now that's praise.

But you know this already...you're not dumb.

Little Fish said...

Hmmm... a need for positive reinforcement... nope, don't know anything about that ;-)

Thanks for the comment on my blog yesterday. It was very sweet and much appreciated.

Hilary said...

I'm a feedback addict too -- not working and being patted on the back by management was honestly one of the HARDEST parts about becoming a stay at home mom for me.
Today my 3 year old daughter's preschool teacher gushed about how amazing my daughter's attention span was for her age. I beamed. Then called people and told them about it.
Great, I thought, now my self-esteem is apparently based on a preschooler's ability to pay attention to Candyland!

Crystal said...

"I like to sign my name with a gold star." Oh silly Child Bride. Everyone needs positive reinforcement, but it seems you do have a problem. Like a 12 step program sort of problem. XD

Alyosha said...

I'm in the same boat as Hilary. My ambitions are mostly channeled into my kids now. But I used to be smart.

annie valentine said...

If it makes you feel better, I've been out of college for ten years and I still email one of my professors every five years when I actually accomplish something in my field. He has no idea who I am.

Olson Family said...

I came across your blog via Seriously So Blessed. . .I know I'm late to the party, but I just had to tell you, as an alum of Westminster's education dept. I'm absolutely cracking up over this post--especially the " already reflected the crap out of my simulation" I've had eerily similar imagined conversations with former professors. ;)