Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pedagogy, Shmedagogy

I am typically not a teacher who does things just to fill time. When I do group work, I do it because I think students need practice doing certain tasks, and that they learn by doing, as opposed to me doing for them. When I show films, I do so with a pedagogical purpose, typically forcing students to fill out worksheets and such and to really engage with the film as a literary text. In other words, I don't just show the movie version of the books that I teach, or whatever.

I don't cut corners by showing a movie instead of teaching, or give group work because I don't feel like actually teaching.

Except this week.

Because with the death of my father, with an upcoming conference for which I've not even begun the paper, with student research projects I'm supervising, I'm so ridiculously behind that I find myself having to fill time as opposed to teaching in the way that I know that I should. And I hate it. But I'm trying to cut myself some slack and to give myself permission to do this in the service of getting my shit together.

But it does make me loathe myself just a little bit. I'm a better teacher than this. I hate feeling so at loose ends that I can't do my job well.

7 comments:

Kate said...

Feeling bad has no purpose. Your students will understand and will probably appreciate the break too. Then this week will pass, or two weeks if you need it, or longer, and you'll figure out how to get back into the swing of it.

I'm so sorry about the death of your father.

Rose said...

The students really won't care, dr c. Truly. They know it's a rigorous course. They really won't care. It doesn't matter. From one uber-responsible teacher to another....

Belle said...

Ditto. Give yourself a break and be nice to self. Think of it as demonstrating setting limits and expectations: it's a different kind of lesson, but a lesson nevertheless.

James said...

I understand how you feel, as I feel that way when I do similar things, but, as has already been said, you need the time, and the students will be happy with less material

rwellor said...

Here's the deal from my perspective..

If you're a good teacher, whatever tools you use will be effective ones because they will be couched in the greater understanding you have already given as a result of your strong 'Shmedagogy.'

Students can learn from the damndest things, if you have first flipped their switches. ;-)

Ink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ink said...

I show films, and they have to write critically on them (plus we discuss them as a class afterwards), but even if they did NOT write anything, it could still be *plenty* beneficial for them to watch a literary adaptation.