There are the skills of acting, and then there is the art of acting. Likewise, there is the skill of writing and the art of writing. I find that I'm pretty good at teaching skill but pretty clueless about how to teach the art. There's probably a way to do it, but I don't know the way.
That's why I think, if I go back to teaching, I want to teach at the middle school level and/or teach lower level students. When I taught the honors kids, I had many kids I just didn't know how to help progress any further. They were enjoyable students to work with, but I didn't feel like I was doing them much of a service.
My first year of teaching in Blue Springs, Missouri, I had three classes of "regular" Junior English and three classes of kids who were all having to repeat Sophomore English. It was a challenging assignment for a first year teacher right out of college, and I think I did pretty well for a first year teacher right out of college. But I'd love to have another shot at those kids now, with the experience I have today.
In fact, if I could just create my own job in the schools, I would say, "Give me 30 students -- in two different classes. 30 kids who try hard but consistently struggle in English class. Give me the freedom to teach them whatever and however I want to, and let me see if I can get them to a point of being able to function successfully in a "regular" English class . . . and function even better in their other classes."
I would love that challenge today. I'm just not sure the school system has the flexibility to let me do something like that. My principal in Hutchinson, Mike Wortman, awesome administrator that he was -- he would have found a way. But not all administrators are that awesome.
Someone told me yesterday I should just start my own school. Right.....