This inspirational article called “The Courage to Teach” was quite moving and made me believe I might actually be able to teach. The author, I thought, was very convincing in arguing that a teacher cannot merely ‘go through the motions’–instead, a teacher must commit his or herself completely to the task, leaving them open to success or failure, acceptance or rejection, achievement or heartbreak. I myself have struggled with this dilemma. On the one hand, I want to inspire my students, to teach them useful tools that will better serve them in their academic careers. On the other, I have received the same advice from quite a few peers–‘don’t stress out so much, in the long run, they’ll never remember your class.’ This is, certainly, terrible advice. No teacher should venture into the classroom ensuring themselves that at the end of the day what they do won’t matter. It is self-defeating with the intention of being self-preserving. The sliver of truth here is that ‘it is not the end of the world if I fail.’ I cannot live and die by my sessions. I should put my best effort into them, but they should not paralyze me.
In the end, I really liked this article. Not only was it inspiring, it put me in the correct frame of mind for teaching. That is to say, I should not go into this half-hearted, acting like I don’t care, just to make sure my ego is not damaged. This is something I am really looking forward to, and so I should go into it with a committed mind.