Even on my bad days–when I’m frustrated by naughty students who obviously haven’t done their reading or feeling less than inspired–even on those days, I can’t help but fall in love with teaching the minute I enter a classroom. I almost always leave class feeling more energized than when I entered it, not only because I appreciate the intellectual exchange that happens in my classrooms but also because I genuinely love opening up new worlds to students. I’ve taught for many years and I can honestly say that I’m still delighted when I look out into the classroom and see students looking back with bright eyes, their faces illuminated in that moment when new ideas seem to suddenly take flight.
Really good teaching, according to Mark Edmundson, is “about not seeing the world the way that everyone else does. Teaching is about being what people are now prone to call ‘counterintuitive’ but to the teacher means simply being honest… Good teachers perceive the world in alternative terms, and they push their students to test out these new, potentially enriching perspectives.”
In my view, being a good teacher means asking hard questions and refusing to accept easy answers. We–and I say we because I’m proud of being a good teacher–challenge our students to approach issues and problems from new angles. In other words, we encourage queer ways of seeing.
So, you’re wondering, what do I teach? Sublime Femmeness, of course!