Lessons in Teaching


I’ve started substitute teaching every other Friday while I finish up my teaching certification, and I already feel like I have some battle scars. Little kids say adorable things, but young adults say deplorable things.

A few weeks ago, I observed a 9th grade math class. I started talking to one of the boys near my desk in the brief moments before the bell rang. I don’t remember what we discussed, but I must have made some kind of impression because thirty seconds later, he asked me, “Are you sure you want to be a teacher? You seem too smart to be a teacher.”

It’s exactly this stereotype of teaching being a “less than” career option that made God have to spend 7 years humbling me in Corporate America before I would consider investing in young lives through teaching.

In another classroom, one of the boys called out in the middle of a lesson, “Did you just graduate from college? You look like you’re still in high school!” They thought I was 21 and were shocked to learn I am 29. Me too, kid. Me, too.

Evidently the physical appearance of a mere 5 year age gap was acceptable because, armed with the knowledge of my ancient-ness, one of the sophomore running backs promptly invited me to his Homecoming football game later that night. I politely declined.

Then last week, my 8th grade math class found out that I already participated in early voting and wanted to know which presidential candidate I voted for. I decided it was wisest not to answer. Unfortunately, this meant speculation from the students.

A chunky Hispanic boy called out, “I bet she voted for Hillary because she’s a woman!”

A skinny African American boy countered loudly, “No, I bet she voted for Trump because she’s white!”

Telling the story to a friend later, I commented that I’m glad their political views will mature as they age to consist of more than simply a basis in race and gender. Then I realized, to my horror and dismay, that not much about their political views will change in the next thirty years. Just look at our adult population.

Authentically Aurora

VOTE!!! Humorous or Heartfelt?

What-do-you-thinkSince I wasn’t cool enough (read: hadn’t been blogging for long enough) to get a 2014 stats/analytics summary from WordPress, I decided to create my own. Because I am a nerd with too much time on my hands.

What I found is that my posts that get the most Comments are not also the posts that get the most Likes.

You, dear Reader, apparently most enjoy commenting on posts where I share my heart with you. Without a doubt, I get the most comments on posts about being an introvert and the unique joys and challenges that come with that.

Avg CommentsIn many of my most commented-on posts – The Worst Version of Myself, Misunderstood, and the Fiery/Fragile Child – Part II – I am very vulnerable in sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. You guys apparently enjoy discussing when I get all soft and mushy! 😉

Avg LikesBut the posts that get the most Likes tend to either be my Creative Expressions (my poetry and photography) or humorous rants, like my list of 5 Things NOT to say to the Sister of the Groom, as well as posts where I share about my Christian faith.

So vulnerability elicits discussion, whereas humor elicits virtual high-fives. Perhaps this is not very surprising or ground-breaking research, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

Share your opinion! What do you want to read about more, going forward?

My experiences as an Introvert?

Adventures in Dating?

Opinions on Christianity?

Sarcastic rants about life in general?

Thanks in advance for the input, and as always, thanks for reading!

Authentically Aurora