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!"
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.