Do I enjoy teaching? I’m not sure. There are days when I really do, and days when I really don’t. I enjoy students who are interested, inquisitive and respectful, though who wouldn’t? I enjoy teaching anything geography related and I enjoy any kind of general literature type class. I like extra-curricular activities that aren’t all about reading and writing. This summer camp, I’m running a class on how to make some wind chimes. I’ve never actually made wind chimes, but fuck it, I have a plan and I figure we’ll get some interesting results from the kids, even if they the chimes sound bloody awful. I don’t even really care if they learn a lot of English or not. I figure they’ll encounter enough English teachers in their lives, but how often will they ever get a teacher who lets them handle a power drill and saw? It’s a summer camp for fuck’s sake, let them do something cool for once in their over-protected lives. I’m guessing so long as no one loses a finger (or even if they do!) they’ll remember this class more than they will just another English lesson.
That’s what I’d really like to do. I’d like to run real camps for kids where they did the crazy sort of shit we did when I was a kid on camp, under the guise of it being “to learn English”. Or I’d like to run some kind of hands-on social studies or science classes where they got to actually do all sorts of wacky shit, right up to some grand adventure of travelling to some other country and doing something off the wall like getting a bunch of Taiwanese kids to set up wells and teach English and other things to poor kids in Africa. I don’t know, something these kids will actually really cherish as a life-changing event.
Of course, it’s unlikely that any of that will ever happen. I know I couldn’t work in a buxiban again unless it was my own (and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to work in a kindy again), but I grow increasingly bored with my current junior high school classes, despite being the go-to guy at my work. I don’t think I’m the best teacher there, but I’m perhaps the one with the best combination of competence and willingness. I seem to be able to straddle a sensible middle ground between being some weirdo boffin and being a clown who can’t tell you what a preposition is. Yet I feel like it’s not the right thing for me.
I don’t really fit in (here or in Australia – and what the fuck does one do with a degree in philosophy?), and I also have this strong independent streak and a strong entrepreneurial streak. At the end of this year, marriage visa in hand, I’m going to go off and try to do my own thing. Expect to meet kids who know the names of every country that borders the Sudan, but are also missing several digits.