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Automatic English For The People

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bit of a Rut

by AJ

My first week with the advanced class went fairly well. Nothing special, but nothing terrible.

Its the nothing special part that bothers me. My rule of thumb is always to strive for dramatic difference... to go beyond ordinary. This week has been ordinary.

In truth, Ive hit a wall with teaching. Ive been grinding along doing the same things for a month or two now. I havent had any great ideas in a while. This is a situation that frustrates me. Its much like having writers block. How do you break out of such a rut?

One way is to talk to other teachers and professionals. For example, I got a shot of enthusiasm from the CA TESOL conference. But while other teachers are a good source of support, I find they arent usually a good source of innovation.

For innovation, its best to go outside.... WAY outside.. your field. What I need to do is start reading like a fiend and start reading in weird, fascinating, challenging fields. Ive got a Gregory Bateson book sitting on my desk unread. I could explore books on brain science, motivation, making presentations, selling, design, art, etc.

I feel compelled to do this because of a gnawing feeling I just cant escape. I feel Im not yet reaching my potential as a teacher. I feel good, but not great. I feel only a tad above ordinary, which is boring as hell.

And nothing frustrates me like boredom.



San Francisco, CA

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