Monday, July 07, 2008

Sometimes all of the textbooks are overwhelming.
Sometimes 10 lesson plans in two weeks is overwhelming.
Sometimes the thought of my own classroom is overwhelming.
And then I remember ... my future students.

Power of Teaching (Excerpt) by Dr. Frank Trujillo
I feel sometimes powerless and small, overwhelmed and inadequate, engulfed in thoughts and feeling that perhaps what I am doing is insignificant, that my life's pursuit, that my teaching, is futile.
And I say "Who am I to change the world? Who am I to think that I can make a difference?"
And then I reflect on the young people under my charge, and I think about my role and about what power, if any, I have.
And I find that I am not devoid of resources or strength, that I am, indeed, endowed with talent and ability and strength.
I do, after all, decide what will be taught. No one else. And it is largely my prerogative when it will be taught and how, and where, and why it will be taught.
To a great extent I determine the curriculum. And the richness and intensity with which it is taught is in my hands.
I have that power.
And I have the ability to think and to plan and then to implement; to select from my repertoire of skills the one best suited to my purpose, yet still able to adapt myself to student needs with the dexterity of an artisan.
Most adults would be fortunate to perhaps last out one day overseeing a roomful of kids. My orchestration makes enlightened music of the chaotic din...
I have the power. I have the rigor to motivate, the fullness to laugh, the courage to control. I have the power to uplift and to create, and when I'm red-hot, the intensity to inspire! I can form my students into lines or circles, triangles or squares.
My influence is such I can turn their very feelings into F's or A's.
With just one look I can let a student know that everything is well with the world and that he or she has a perfect right to aim for the top of it all!
And I can use my hands, turned up to lift them up. Or turned down to keep them down.
What power do I have in the system? In the eyes of my students I am the system.
And I have the power to lead them places they did not know existed, to build them back up when society tears them down, to catapult them higher than I myself will ever reach; and to push them gently, but assuredly, into the unknown, painting for them in broad brush strokes a future I can never hope to see ...

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