Saturday, May 05, 2007
yesterday was my last teaching day. it affirmed my decision, because once again, i hated what i was teaching--hated how unnecessary so much of it is, how pointless and hard to grasp for so many of my students. the premise that the same educational process and content will work for all students is simply wrong. those who have failed at algebra repeatedly shouldn't be required to keep trying and failing in order to move on. there is other important math that they could learn. but the system is so inflexible.
some students see their hopes of a degree crumbling because they can't figure out what the heck they are supposed to do with all the x's. and this kid that will pass my class just found out that the extraordinary effort he made is not enough. now he has to pass 4 more math classes to get into the business program he is interested in.
i have two days of testing. this weekend i will write tests. i will also cart math books back to school and do more grading.
meanwhile, people who found out what my plans are have been so encouraging and supportive. i've had people tell me of home repairs they need and give me great ideas:
-"go for it! do it with all your heart!" from a wonderful colleague.
-find a company that installs solar panels. [i found one, nearby.] that way you can find environmentally minded builders as well as clients.
-take some environmental archtecture/engineering courses, so that you can be much more well-informed than the typical builder. your work will be more efficient and you will get more business as a result.
-you may eventually find yourself running a business, which you will have to learn to build. [eek!]
-make sure you know the problem is the teaching job, not you. otherwise, you will have the same problem whereever you go. [quite true.]
-"you're single, you can take the risk, so go for it!"
-"i'm so excited for you! i wish i could do something like that!"
many people suggested that i stay at the job and just do this in the summers and part time. in many ways it makes sense, but i felt that it would be the wrong decision for me at this time. it is so hard for me to make a decision like this. taking the plunge when i'm ready to and jumping into something new and exciting brings with it a certain adrenaline that i can use to propel me forward. if i kept doing what i was really sick of doing, i think it would suck too much energy out of me and cause my new venture to suffer as a result.
i'm 30. the time is now.