Teaching

Today was my first day back teaching at CalArts. Last semester I had 14 students in my Writing Arts section, but this semester I only have 6! Today I broke the ice by having everyone fill out surveys that asked silly questions, then we did some in-class writing. It was a little goofy, but got them talking. They’re very spirited and fun, so I think it’ll be a good semester, despite the small size of the class. In fact, that might be a good thing.

Writing Arts is an interesting class that CalArts has for BFA1 students. It is an English comp class but works a bit differently than other schools. We focus on three topics during the semester: Technology, Capital and Identity. The students read mostly critical texts (although toward the end they do examine some films and creative writing) and craft different types of papers for each unit. The professor lectures for one hour and then the TAs teach for two hours the next morning. We focus on helping the students digest the readings, as well as work on different elements of craft. We grade all their work, give them feedback, and get to know them on an individualized level. It’s a really cool job and great experience for those of us who want to continue to be educators post-graduation.

Although I already have a lot of experience teaching, I am feeling like in order to teach in CA I will need to eventually obtain a CA teaching credential. However, for the moment, I am hoping to get a tutoring job or teaching assistant job for the fall. I’ve been applying like mad, have gotten a few interviews, but so far nothing. I am waiting to hear back from Teach From America–which would be a wonderful opportunity, as well as some private schools around the city.

I really love teaching. It’s the only type of job I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed going to work for. Someday, one dream of mine is to open my own little school house. But for now, working at a school in LA would be great. Maybe in the next year or two I will apply to UCLA for their teaching credential program.

I’d also really like to train to be a doula. This is just an idea I have, but a friend and I are thinking about signing up for it in the summer. Being a doula would be amazing. Helping babies into the world is such an important job, and so many are born in situations that are not nurturing. I don’t mean the parents, I mean the place of their birth. So that is something I am considering as well. I do have very strong feelings about birth, parenting, medical intervention and women’s health. I’d like to be able to contribute my ideas and knowledge in a public setting. One of my life-long friends is a doula, among other cool things, and she really loves it. She said she’d long-distance mentor me.

Basically, I just want to do work that is good, that contributes to society in a positive way. I am wholeheartedly committed to being an educator and working with children. Before we can worry about anything in this country, we need to make education a priority. Sadly, it is not, and I think that is why there is so much craziness going on. That, and greed. But that’s for another blog…

So long as I can spend my time teaching kids, helping babies into the world, writing poetry, someday being a mother, I think I will be happy and fulfilled.

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