Teaching Update31 Jan 2017
The frustrating part of teaching, is that you get mad at yourself and your students for so many different reasons. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do this semester is take a step back, breathe, and look at myself and ask, “Am I really helping this person out? Am I really taking them further than where they currently are?”
I question the decisions I make, especially when I’m teaching the students. It’s so easy to accidentally take a wrong turn and keep going for such a long time. When I get frustrated with a student, the biggest reason is usually myself. I’ve come to accept / believe that a lot of the fault belongs to me. Sometimes I take my explanations too far, I speak too abstractly, or I just misinterpret the question they’re asking. It’s extremely frustrating and results in me getting impatient with a student. Eventually I realize that it’s actually not their fault.
Of course, there are situations where the students truly don’t care. And when that happens, I tend to have a habit of shouldering the blame. I feel that it’s my job as someone who’s in an educator position, to motivate them. And sometimes, I manage to do it! Students hopefully see the beauty in the code they write, and they can see the utility of it. And other times, it doesn’t. I fail miserably. Students get frustrated, and they just push me away.
So it’s definitely been a long semester. I’ve had racial slurs thrown at me, students giving up on me, and students not caring at all. I’ve had my patience tested and worn down, to the point where I just want to yell at the top of my lungs and roll into bed.
But overall… I’m so glad. I’m teaching still; I know there are days where I’m definitely wondering if this is really something that I like. But at night, when I sit down and think / write about what I did during the day, I know I tried my best to make a difference in someone’s life. It’s rare to be in a position where I’m able to help students indirectly and directly. It’s definitely been a humbling experience from both ends. I’ve seen how frustrating the education industry is, as I’ve been able to experience a lot of the problems firsthand.
My future goal is to be able to do more to further computer science education. I want more students to understand that coding is not a scary thing, and that it’s something we use in our every day lives / take for granted.
However as for now, I’m happy. I’m happy that I’m trying my best, and I will push myself to do as much as I can for them. I hope that I can achieve at least one student wanting to pursue computer science. Thanks for taking in another sappy post, teaching has definitely been an interesting experience, and I hope to finish this semester strong.