Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Teacher-y Teacher

I recently took on some tutoring work, hoping to make some extra money to travel to Europe with some friends next summer. I didn't want to work per session at the Morton School (I spend enough time there already, and there was nothing available to work with the kids rather than the adults) and I CERTAINLY didn't want to work retail. Tutoring it is.

SHSAT season has kept me pretty busy, and I was meeting with a client this evening. I checked her homework, chatted with her about her school choices and how she's feeling about the test for a few minutes, and then decided on a lesson for the evening.

"Okay," I said. "You did pretty well on the critical reading, and pretty well on the logical reasoning too. But the scrambled paragraphs are still giving you problems. Let's walk back through these few, and then we'll try a few more out of my book here."

She looked at me in amazement. "Wow," she said, "you're, like, a teacher-y teacher."

I laughed. "What do you mean?"

"You're, like, all organized and stuff," she said. "All prepared and everything."

I took it as a compliment and set her to work. But the comment had me smiling to myself for the rest of the night. I never would have dreamed of calling myself "organized" or "prepared" two years ago. I'm not even sure I would go that far on a daily basis these days. But I am pretty proud that I come across as a "teacher-y teacher." I like that a student meets me and feels like they're in the presence of someone who knows what she's doing.

That plus a very positive meeting with my coach today has me feeling excited about school for the first time since the first few days of school. All the changes at the Morton School really got me down for most of September and October. But as it becomes clear that Principal X is going to leave me more or less alone, and as we get into the really meaty units of study, I'm starting to feel happy about going to work again. I'm building a group of kids that likes and trusts me and works hard for me.

Maybe I really am a teacher-y teacher.