I’ve been teaching for five years now:
- two years at Fresno State (14-15);
- three years as an adjunct professor in the State Center Community College District (16-18), including Madera College and Fresno City College;
- two years as an adjunct professor at College of the Sequoias; &
- less than a year as a high school SPED teacher (17-18).
Only now do I feel like a mentor-minded person:
Like I have a firm grip on things
I do and don’t believe—like I know
the contributions I aim to authentically provide,
no matter the student; and the ways I will instruct,
(and the ways I will not instruct,) affect where I am
the most useful as a teacher—
as a mentor-minded person in our society.
I figure, this means it might be a good idea to document what mentor-minded thinking means; in other words, taking the time to hover a figurative (and thoughtfully magnifying) lens over the disco-lit, teacher-optimized portion of my Workview dashboard.
Of course, my specific, mentor-minded Workviews will have to shack up with my “less specific” Workview in Chapter 2.3; because—similar to the gravity rules in the Mostly Untaught Universe of County, State and Federal Laws—the more specifically defined an ethical territory, the more those ethics must agree with their bigger, unspecific cousins.
So with the tentative agreement between my unspecific Workview and mentor-minded Workview, I’d like to spend the next 7 days exploring:
- An intellectual field should not be a social minefield.
- Grading should be fun.
- Assignments are assigned to achieve meaningful goals.
- Meaningful goals are chosen by student interests—not by teacher demands—and, certainly, not by administrative assessment.
- No paperwork about a human being is more important than the actual human being.
- Individualized instruction is more about getting to know a student, and less about documenting a student’s needs through exhausting processes like a court-mandated tl;dr resume.
- Useful skills should be at the core of learning.
I don’t think I’m reinventing the wheel with any of the above ethical decisions, but it’ll still be good to explore my take on them. Of course, this will slow down my journey into blogging about Designing Your Life, “Chapter 3,” but no Dungeons & Dragons or World of Warcraft adventure was ever worth its salt until the story was bulging at the edges with exciting side quests.