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Wednesday, September 14, 2005 

Day 15: Teaching is a lot like driving...

As I was making my way into school this morning in traffic, I needed to change lanes to catch the exit ramp to my right.
So I put my blinker on well ahead of time, checked many times the distance between my van and the two cars I wanted to squeeze in between, and when my brain figured the timing was optimal, my arms worked the steering wheel and the change was done. Changing lanes in Montreal is always somewhat of a leap of faith - you need to believe the cars around you will allow your move to happen without accident.

And so I realized that changing lanes and driving in traffic is a lot like teaching.

Every time I walk into class, I feel like I'm changing lanes... I'm taking charge (sort of) of a group of 25-26 teenage girls who aren't necessarily interested in learning about biology and technology (much like the drivers who feel competitive about "their" lane and aren't interested in letting a car in ahead of theirs).

These girls have to let me in, they have to let me invade their space and allow me to leave something behind - hopefully knowledge related to the subjects I teach.

Every time I walk into class, I need to take that leap of faith that everything will go well, that the students will be receptive and that I won't majorly screw up and make a fool of myself. This is especially true when I walk into class and basically improvise the lecture.

Improvising is possible in technology, but is becoming increasingly difficult in biology. I can't invent things about the human body - someone would figure it out eventually and rat me out.

I had some ideas of what teaching would be like before taking on this position, some pre-conceived notion of what teachers do (all of which turned out to be wrong thus far), but the last thing I expected was to feel a connection between driving and teaching.

And even less expected was that some groups of students would feel like a huge traffic jam...

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  • I'm Lolita
  • From Canada
  • Challenges... don't we all love a good challenge? University, married life, a mortgage, kids, keeping my sanity while we cruise through life at 100 MPH... why not try my hand at teaching for a year. After all, a school year is only 180 days - anyone should be able to survive 180 days, right? Well, I'm about to find out - follow my journey and enjoy my trials and tribulations as I embark in this 180 day rollercoaster ride of teenage hormones and drama, spiked with discipline, homework, exams and surprises I'm sure...
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