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01/27/2015

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Thomas Orzechowski

What you write about is understandable. The system is very abusive toward people in your situation. I intentionally used the word abusive. Just don't let it become corrosive of you and what in the beginning was the foundation of your deep love of the field you are not teaching about. Take care...Blessings on you and your work.

Suzy Eyler

I'd love to meet you for coffee or a glass of wine, Kate!I can relate to several of the points you raise. I teach Theology in a Catholic private high school. There are some students who don't buy the books and for some, the total cost is prohibitive, but for some others, they just think they don't need the books--they can listen in class and to their classmates who bought the book, and that will be enough.
It is tough to get a "rise" out of some students about the more thought-provoking topics like the origin of religions and why we should care about our neighbors. . .Hearing from graduates about their memories of our class together, no matter how many years ago, does give me reason to hope. This is so true!! I have had diabetes for many years and sometimes--maybe even often, I struggle with guilt when my glucose (sugar) numbers are high or erratic. I struggle with the same kind of guilt when judging my teaching skills--what could I do better? how can I improve? is it me or is it them? I've been teaching more than 40 years and still struggle with these self-evaluations as well as student evaluations! But you know what? I just love it! I love the students! I don't like grading papers so much after all these years, so I am always seeking more creative ways to assess the students' understanding of the concepts we are studying. But I love the students! They challenge me and I hope I challenge them! I work with wonderful colleagues and we discuss our teaching strategies and struggles, which is very helpful. The financial reality is difficult; I acknowledge this and worry about it now and for the future. However, I also trust that I am doing as much as I can to take care of myself and my family.
So, dear Kate, if you love what you are teaching, and if you believe you are giving of yourself, and are touching even one student occasionally, go for it! Krista McAuliffe said "that to teach is to touch the future!" God bless you! And I'm sure God is with you! Follow your passion! Teach what you care about!

Kate B.

Thanks to both of you for your support! I was indulging in a bit of hyperbole for this post. While I am indeed often grumpy about my job, I do really enjoy teaching and like my students 99% of the time. I feel lucky that this is my career path. Very glad you do, too!

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