Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Teach the teacher well

Would I have made a good teacher?

Because at one time I considered that. In 2004, when I got downsized for the first time in my life then spent most of the year scrambling from temp job to temp job, I started to look into possibly getting certified as a substitute teacher. Went to an orientation session at Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus, I recall, for one possible program to help me become one.

And, 15 years later, I don't remember why I stopped. Maybe I got impatient about the jumping through hoops I would need to do to be even considered for that work. They obviously don't and can't let just anybody teach kids. Maybe I felt I wouldn't have the resources to train while still, you know, paying rent and feeding myself. I didn't dig enough to find more resources to do so, either. And I let the drive to teach fritter away.

Luckily, later in '04 a temp job at Oregon Health Sciences University led to another temp job at OHSU, medical transcription work which led to getting hired for that job which I then had for four years, so the urgency to do something that earned money was satisfied. I did that job well, too; I quit in 2008 because other factors (including maybe the worst, most frustrating manager I have ever had) made it too hard for me to do the job.

But I wonder what would have happened if I had stuck with the earlier plan and gotten training in how to teach. I'm thinking this tonight because today I helped with training at my job; we have new people who are learning the ropes. I heard back in the days when I was learning to drive that someone who just learned how to do a thing is a good choice for teaching others how to do that thing: their training is fresh, and their habits (good and bad) are fewer. I've been doing this job since late November. And while the job can get, as I've said, surprisingly complicated, it's honestly at its core not hard. I can teach this. But as I showed some people how to do what we do, I worried that they'd not pick up on what I was telling them, or that I was over-explaining, complicating my explanations and giving them too much too fast.

Teaching is important. Bad teaching is maddening. I've had bad teachers. I've had great ones. I worry, just as I turned out (in my opinion) to be only an okay-to-good newspaper reporter, that I'd be a mediocre or bad teacher. I don't know. But I wonder.
Tags: work

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