New York City educator Mildly Melancholy was mildly floored when, in a teaching class, she was asked to decribe herself “as a person and a professional.”
Here's what I ended up writing: --out of classroom: easy-going; laugh a lot; music on always; books close by; sometimes lazy
--in the classroom: stern, high expectations; dry and sarcastic jokes; piles of papers and books; music on or nearby; loud
Like any good narcissist, I found this very interesting. It was not a revelation that my personality is different depending on my surroundings, but to lay it out in simple terms was fascinating... What this means to me is that I can be very stern and loud and strict. It's totally NOT who I am. It still makes me laugh sometimes, that I can be that way. No one that I know in my "real life" or pre-teaching life would recognize me in the classroom. I think it's kind of cool. Certainly it reminds me that a huge part of teaching is indeed acting. Once I figured out how to act the part, then the students accept me in that role, and we can all proceed.
(From Mildly Melancholy.)
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.