Thursday, August 13, 2009

Those who can't, teach.

I've always hated that phrase.

For starters, I don't understand it. What do you mean 'those who can't, teach?' So, like, if I can't play basketball, you want me to teach it instead? WIth all of my knowledge? I mean, if I'm not good enough to play it, why would you want me to teach it to others?

Secondly, as a teacher (and a darn good one), I take offense in thinking that teachers are lesser beings of a bigger purpose, and by lack of qualifications, resign themselves to teaching others (as a last result of a failed existence?).


Whatever, that is, except for today. Because by default, today the saying sticks. I am in charge of new teacher orientation. And because I am not (can not) be a new teacher, I get to teach the others who are. I can't, so I teach. And I've got this orientation thing licked.

When I was a new teacher, we had the most wonderful orientation by two amazing teachers, Brian and Leila, but it was all such a blur of driving down streets to places that I never actually found again. I didn't have any money or way to get around, which, along with being completely lost, kept me from waning to revisit any of the places they took us. In fact, in two years, I can count on one hand the number of places I have returned to after that first week. Not because I don't want to, but because I wouldn't know where to go if I did!

Last year's orientation, done by a different teaching couple, was much of the same. Of course, I didn't take part, but I have the notes, and can sense that it was a very similar overload to the year of my beginning.

This year, though, I have a better game plan. Although orientation doesn't officially start until Friday, I thought, 'Why don't I invite the new teachers over to my place to see what everything looks like?' They can check out the sizes of curtains, dimensions of couches, and so on and so forth. They can ask how to nail things into the wall? How to decorate? What kinds of things can they buy? And I can offload some of my possessions, that, after a summer home of shopping, I have no more room for.

Clever, right? It's a pretty good plan.

But it's even better. Because after that, I will walk them to sushi train (for yummy sushi!), and then Jusco, where I will familiarize them with the walking paths and store layout (and buy groceries for myself at the same time!). You see, this is what I would be doing anyway, only now I'm going to make it an 'official part' of orientation and multitask everything into one. It gets me what I want, gets them what they want, and clears out a bit of space for Friday's schedule, which will (surprise) include more shopping (at places I need to go to too!).

I'm not going to lie - I think I'm pretty clever. So, don't tell me what I can and can't teach...

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