True Confessions: I Heart Teaching

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!

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8 Responses

  1. lol! Indeed, if any of my teachers had looked like a French maid, with fishnets, I might have paid a little more attention, and done less daydreaming! 🙂

    Or perhaps your daydreaming would have been somewhat more, shall we say, focused? Thanks for noticing my outfit. I do my best to bring sexy back in the classroom, so my wardrobe includes sexy pencil skirts, high-heeled leather boots, any, yes, even fishnets!

    Do I have your attention now? 😉 xo -Sf

  2. confession: i heart teachers. in fact, i liked my teachers (the great ones, anyhow) more than i liked school most of the time.

    alexandra – i am fair certain i’d have done a lot more daydreaming if my teachers had looked like that 😉

  3. I wish I felt more energized after leaving MY room. Mine is a total madhouse sometimes. But that comes with the territory, teaching kids with emotional disabilitles. But overall I do love to teach.

    You can be my teacher ANYtime!

    Good for you for doing such important work. And thx for the compliment. It would be my pleasure to work with you, I’m sure! 😉 -Sf

  4. Hmm . . . if we femmes are librarians and teachers, what does that say about smart sexy women? And I am all about pencil skirts too but unfortunately not at work, since I have a topless lady tattooed on my calf. Not the most appropriate look for a librarian. Keep up the fabulous work!

    Thx, BiblioFemme. I’m not sure what you mean by this question. Please explain! I thought of you while writing this–I was hoping you’d come calling! xo -Sf

  5. To me, our careers imply that gay women can indeed be smart, sexy, and highly functioning members of society that provide important services and look good doing them! Busting up stereotypes is always so much fun, don’t you agree? How can homosexuality be detrimental to “our children” if we’re the ones helping their educational progress and development? Silly hets, check again!

  6. I owe SublimeFemme an apology, I did not realize she was a professor and made an inappropriate assumption. Just because I am a children’s librarian doesn’t mean EVERYONE works with kids. And by the way, she’s even hotter now. I have total librarian/professor fantasies spinning through my brain. Whee!

    You didn’t offend me at all and you certainly don’t owe me an apology, although I’m happy it gave you a reason to visit me again! I’m even more in awe of you now that I know you’re a children’s librarian with a topless lady tattoo. What a bad, bad girl! xo -Sf

  7. Amen. I heart teaching too….first week is always awesome. My little collegiate culinarians are so earnest.

  8. this is the first year in my 5 years of teaching middle school that i’ve considered applying to high schools or even the college level. after three different schools and finally ending up in an improved environment with relatively respectful students, it’s just sinking in that intrinsic motivation doesn’t really exist for the majority of 11-14 year olds, sadly, even if the teacher is an attractive addition to the classroom.

    One of the hard things about teaching is that we often don’t see the results of our efforts–or even know if there are results! You probably are having a positive impact on students, even if there isn’t visible evidence right now. Good luck, and stay in touch. -Sf

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