Friday will constitute my last day teaching the combination class for seniors on philosophy in the fall and personal finance this spring. A couple of things I learned while teaching:
- Teaching a subject is an amazing way (and maybe the best way) to learn something. This was especially true in the philosophy course, which allowed me to explore various topics by working them out vocally with my students.
- Teaching a subject is also a great way to show you just how much more learning you have to do about something.
- Teaching in general is really hard. I only had one class I taught at a time, and lesson planning became pretty difficult to keep up with by the middle of the school year. I can’t imagine how public school teachers do this full time. Full-time teachers deserve far more respect than they are given in our culture, and that includes K-12 and higher education.
- Teaching (along with coaching cross country, which I have done for the past two years) feels like the most meaningful work I have ever done in my professional life. I’m not naïve enough to think that I’m making some dramatic change in my students’ lives, but the fact is that you can’t spend a whole year with a group of students without affecting one another.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to continue teaching in the high school next year. There are too many other things going on in my full-time job preventing my pursuit of teaching for now. I’m slated to teach a freshman orientation class next fall, but that’ll be it next semester. Hopefully that will change in my near future.