To Teach Or Not To Teach, That Is The Question (2015-02-13)
I once thought I’d choose teaching English to high school students for my day job. It was during my teenage years that I first came to deeply appreciate poetry, but most of my English teachers didn’t contribute to that. So I thought it would be profoundly rewarding to inspire appreciation of poetry in kids at that impressionable age.
It didn’t work out, largely because I was a lousy ‘education student’ who revolted against the same regimentation I’d had to endure in high school. I couldn’t see myself enforcing rules I found too absurd to adhere to myself. So when I was told to cut my hair before going to a particular class to ‘practice teach’, I decided teaching high school English wasn’t for me.
It turned out to be a good decision. The teaching I envisioned myself doing would be an all-consuming vocation and would leave little time for what I’d come to believe was my real calling,
And I wonder if, like teaching creative writing, teaching appreciation of poetry may be an impossible goal. One can give students the tools to appreciate poetry, but only they can choose to use them.