on feeling nervous about what i can actually teach

I’d like to talk of things that cloud my mind,

The things I wish I’d known back then.

But something tugs my words back down,

A second thought that must be formed

For fear of causing trouble.

I’d love to tell them all about the ups and downs

They’ll face along the way,

But all that I’m allowed to do

Is teach curriculum.

I suppose it’s quite normal to feel this way, but I have this nagging feeling that I’m going to say something that will offend and then get me in trouble. Things have changed so much since I was in school, and we have to be careful that we’re not going to upset someone.

The other day I decided to play a video in class, and I really feel like it added to my lesson in a positive way. But I think the fact that I was so worried about it spoke volumes about where we have got to.

The video I played was about the making of the song ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osborne. I remember hearing the song as a child and just being blown away by it. I also remember people being very angry about it, but to me it was just interesting and thought provoking.

Some of the best lessons I’ve observed have been the ones where the teachers have opened up something about themselves or about the big, bad world that we live in. I think it’s necessary that we open these kids up to these truths and we don’t shelter them too much. What happens when they leave home and that shelter is ripped away?

I wish we could be a bit more free. I wish I didn’t have to worry so much about everything I say. And I wish I could tell the students exactly what lies ahead.

Much Love

Rachel xx

5 thoughts on “on feeling nervous about what i can actually teach

  1. clcouch123

    Goodness, your frustrations and concerns are sound and, if I may say (since I just said they’re sound) relatable. I taught college mostly, where offending is acceptable and where, frankly, more empathy is needed. I think the offense you’re concerned about is different–offense where none is intended and against a greater, overarching interest in sharing the truth of things. That kind of offense is so subjective and relative that you should be told by higher-ups that it’s useless offense and won’t be actionable or at least will be supported. Unfortunately, current culture has allowed offense (subjective, relative) to become so much more important than it isn’t.

  2. crispina kemp

    In fairness, Rachel, I do not remember our teachers making any effort to prepare us for what existed beyond school… apart from the choice of work or university. Maybe it was the kind of school I went to, prepping us for university by preference

    1. patientandkindlove

      No, there is so little emphasis on preparing for the world. It’s so target driven that it feels like an uphill battle. I’ll make sure I throw in little bits and pieces for the kids though 😉

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