Since August I have been driving to Bedford about once a month for my Children’s and Young Adult Literature class. At first this class completely overwhelmed me (at times it still does) because I somehow became appointed the graduate assistant for the class. What that means in a nutshell is I do twice the work for the same amount of credit. Do I sound like an underachiever? Well… I am… I don’t mean to be, but I am. The hardest part of this class has been trying to decipher the expectations that have been placed on me. I have been told, “You may do this (and this and this…) for extra credit, but I don’t want extra credit! I just want to get an A by doing well on the requirements for the class. I don’t have time to do a ton of extra credit and also do my real job well.
However, in spite of my semester spent trying to find the balance between doing “what is expected” and not seeming like I am doing the bare minimum, I have found inspiration through this class. My peers (whom I must grade, I might add) consistently inspire me. This is so awkward because I want to grade fairly, but I am grading many type-A personalities who, I fear, will want to squander over every lost point. I am a people pleaser, so I don’t want to make anyone upset, but I also must please the instructor by the way that I grade the assignments. I spent 10 full hours grading their first discussion board, which means that I haven’t done any “extra” credit because I also must grade my own real students. Oh… the dilemma!
Back to my inspiration, and the purpose I began writing tonight…this class is stretching me and challenging me in so many ways, but in the end I believe I will be a better teacher because of it. As I sit through class each time we meet, I get excited to change the world. I receive so many great ideas and recommendations for children’s and young adult literature that I must read. Oh how I want to read each of these books, but at this moment I wonder when would I have the time? Please know that I am not trying to complain. Instead, I am attempting to verbalize feelings of inadequacy, as well as desires to become an even better teacher. So…what do I want to be when I grow up? I want to conquer the impossible goal of becoming an amazing teacher. I care about my students and I work hard to make a difference in their lives, but so often teaching feels like the impossible career… especially on days when parents are critical and then I read another book about all the things I could be doing to be even better at this ridiculously difficult career and calling.