i love to teach. as exhausting and challenging as it is – i can’t friggin’ help myself. i find it lovely and delicious. splendorific even. i am just wrapping up an intensive three-week course where i get to teach my passion – i get to teach students about gender. there is something beautiful about teaching people something different about something so intimate. something that is seemingly so “natural.” eyes widen. hearts and experiences open. teaching is transformative. and that’s why i can’t get enough.

i have long joked that the children of teachers cannot escape the call of educating. it is akin to being called by god, called up from the minor leagues, possessed by that which you cannot help yourself from doing. and i have been thinking lately about why teaching is my calling. i think it has something to do with the fact that it combines all of my interrelated spastic properties. teaching is a performance – which i love. teaching is (can be) transgressive. and ultimately, teaching can transform the lives of individuals by generally making the world more livable. i don’t know if my particular brand of teaching does any/all of these things. but teaching is beautiful and the effects of its affects may never be measured.

think of that teacher that you had that you loved. you love them because they did something to you. viscerally. they changed the way you think. they gave you information that could never, ever be taken from you. they gave you a sense of self that was real. tangible. they called on and accepted your very being. some might have changed your worldview, others might have crushed it. but all this transforms one’s very being. it alters opportunities. knowledge engages the soul. that is why the harbingers of said knowledge are so intimate a memory. so decidedly important.

i complain. i struggle to do my best in this short span that challenges me as the instructor as well as my students. i worry. i try to engage even those students who looked bored or who don’t invite a change of perspective. i don’t relish marking papers and assigning a value to work that my students have laboured over. i don’t see myself as a specter of future import in the lives of students that share three intense weeks in a hot classroom learning that their bodies, themselves, could be different. and perhaps that through that difference, oppression could be lessened. but i have learned something about myself that is perhaps more profound than what i could hope to teach. i have learned that i am a teacher. no matter how spastic.

teaching is really an extension of who (how) i am. it has meant over the past year that teaching has made me confront myself. my wants. desires. needs. teaching has transformed me through the circulation of knowledges about power, selves, and pasts. being a teacher isn’t what defines me. but it is an integral piece of who i believe i am. and a passion that even the greatest fear cannot eradicate.

[whoa. holy deepness.]

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