Teaching, and Philosophic Irrelevancies

I took Keely for a walk this evening, the same one as yesterday's big one. We did it fifteen minutes faster though, and yet I think it was more enjoyable for her. She was off her leash more; yesterday I had her on it both to and from the lake, but today I left her off it the whole way home. She also swam more, or rather just swam, since yesterday she only went in the water and didn't do any dog paddling. As you may have noticed, Keely's walk times are my big thinking times, so I have a few things to go over as a result of my recent outing.

I am of the opinion that many of the questions some people base their lives on are irrelevant. If it is impossible to understand something, you shouldn't worry about it. The classic example of this is the afterlife. I don't care what's going to happen when I die. Basing one's life philosophy on what you suppose is going to happen in the afterlife is ridiculous. No one knows what's going to happen in the afterlife! We do know what this life is like, though, so why not enjoy oneself here and base your conduct on your real experience and knowledge? Other big irrelevancies I think need to be forgotten are the questions of "Why are we here?," "Where do we come from?", and, as I discussed previously, "Is there a god?" I think it's better to make it a life goal to try to understand things that we can actually begin to understand, such as human nature. Who can honestly begin to answer any of those other questions using any substantive logic?

I guess I'm getting into the habit of dealing with things in the opposite order of how they're in the title...

The other big thing I thought about was being a teacher. I've got to say that education has definitely got to be the field I enter if all my big political dreams fall through. I will definitely be in foreign service in some capacity during my life, but when I come back home and if, as I said, my political dreams don't happen, I may have to think about getting a "real" job. This has got to be teaching. I couldn't imagine doing anything else as a regular job. Perhaps its because teaching is the occupation I've been most exposed to, but I really don't think so. I think working with kids is absolutely great, and the impact you can have on people as they are maturing and growing into adults is profound. From my recent and continuing experience with teachers, some have inspired me to be like them and teach children as well as they taught me.

For other teachers, their failure to connect with students and really get them to learn as shown me ways in which I could be better and work with people differently. As far as what I would do specifically as a teacher, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to teach any younger than middle school. I'd like to just teach a particular subject instead of an all-encompassing class; elementary school was not that inspirational for me. My model for being a teacher would have to be Mr. S., who taught me world history last year. (He also taught my father, so not surprisingly he also retired after last year.) [I am retroactively hiding these names. - 10/10/11] I'd like to just teach general world history, just like S. did. Mr. P., who has taught me both AP European and AP world history, is a much better teacher, but I don't think I would want to teach AP classes, certainly not at first. S. also provides for me both of the types of inspiration described in the previous paragraph, whereas P. pretty much only provides the first.

First off, my primary goal would be getting students interested in history and getting them to realize how important a subject it is (the most important to be found in high school). I'd obviously also make the class more enjoyable, using everything from "questions of the day" that Mr. P. has, to playing Jeopardy! like we did with Mr. A. I would of course very much improve on Mr. S.'s "world" history curriculum, which truly went prehistory, Egypt, and then Europe for the rest of the year. There would be many things of course that I would want to do to dynamically change my teaching and its effectiveness with the students. You may have noticed I have quite a few ideas about public education... That's because I'm a product of it and I very much want to participate in improving it! That brings me to another topic that neither thought about on my walk or planned on writing about: homeschooling.

In my very humble opinion, I think it's a very poor decision for parents to homeschool their children for more than a year or two. I was homeschooled in second grade, which was a positive experience, but it had negative effects as well. That single year probably made me more introspective and shy towards others (although I probably was already). I truly pity children who are totally denied that regular interaction with kids their own age because of homeschooling. Learning with others, interacting with others- those are things that must be emphasized in a child's life. For those that wish to emphasize certain ideals in their child's life, don't worry. It's much easier than you think. Your good little girl Jenny can still go to that liberal, godless public school and she'll still grow up loving Jesus. You just have to be there for her after school. And look at the benefits! She'll become much more comfortable with others- much more so than she would if Sunday School was her only regular exposure to other kids her age. Although there are of course many other problems with homeschooling, this is my single worthwhile reason to not do it: regular interaction and group learning. These things are essential for a child whatever they go on to do and believe, and I believe that homeschooling just can't provide those things adequately.

I think I'll end this post here, but maybe I should say some more controversial things... I get a couple visitors a day now, a lot of them new (I just recently had a visitor from South Korea!), but the thing is that no one ever comments except the regulars, and that just every once in a while. If you just happen to happen upon this article and read it to the end, please make a comment now, even if you just say hello.

Comments

  1. Hello. :)

    9 times out of 10, I will have nothing but respect for a teacher, because they do one of the most important jobs that anyone can do. I don't think I would have the petience for it, myself, but anything could happen. I have no idea what I want to do later on in life, not at all. But I've got plenty of time for that, I guess~

    ...I ramble.

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  2. Hello. *ninja*

    Like Dorsey, 9/10 I have respect for a teacher. That other 1? Mr. Patton. Dude, he EPICALLY PHAILS. Don't be like him if/when you go into teaching. Please. I beg you. >.>

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  3. I'm going to read all your posts. Your thoughts are very interesting.

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  4. I've thought many of those things myself, so I know what you mean and where you are coming from *wink. While being a public school teacher is an honorable occupation, consider that you can be a teacher outside of the traditional classroom as well. Finding many places to teach and many eager students might be more suitable to your wandering and exploratory nature.

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  5. Patricia of FRANCE30 June, 2008

    Salut! We totally lead paralell lives. I too want to teach middle school history. crazy, right?? teachers have the hardest, most underpaid jobs ever.

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