29.6.13

DAY 365+86

sightless

Past weeks have completely drained my energy. As usual, after the end of the academic course I got sick, not as much as previous years, but I felt like if I was having a bad flu, when indeed I wasn´t. I was just tired 

Now after weeks correcting the papers of my students and doing assessment seminars with them, apart from suffering a persistent hacking cough, my brain seems to be empty and many ideas (in particular those related to summer break) have flown away

The way that university works makes me wonder if this effort is useless. There many things more important (the kind of things which I am not interested in) than teaching. This may sounds paradoxical as I work in a teaching institution, but this is the true. Teaching seems to be a necessary evil so to say, but not something really valuable. Of course, this is not the official speech, but this is what I feel based on what I see around

Indeed, according to my experience, this is a chronic problem of university: there are many experts coexisting there, who are producing knowledge but many of them don´t know how to communicate it or make it relevant. They present information but don´t deal with the teaching-learning process in depth

I decided long ago that I was not going to be that kind of teacher and my students (who are often frustrated) are usually happy with me but when I want to fulfill my external job requirements and my own self-demands, I always end up taking on too much and getting sick. On the other hand, when I try to opt for some of them, this makes me feel sicker, if possible and not that efficient

The thing is that according to university I have to teach, research, write and publish, be part of the organization and deal with management tasks, be part of the community, study new skills etc. and according to myself, I have to develop my classes and treat my students in a very specific way, which involves almost exclusive dedication, but most of the times I find difficult to be responsible and true to myself and stay centered and present in the rest of my life

I am not complaining, I know many other teachers that are facing the same dilemma than me and anyway I am acting accordingly my beliefs but from time to time, I think that maybe I should try to find a happy medium

This issue has become more relevant to me since I am developing this inner journey because it is about balance, but also about authenticity , faithfulness to my own vision and acceptance. When I published the final acts of my students a week ago or so, I had the feeling that I have to examine in detail my attitudes and refine my behaviors

Right now I have doubts about my motivations, the appropriateness of my decisions, the impact of them on my professional life, about the way I use my time, the goals and boundaries that I am setting. I feel that I don´t fit properly in the place where I work, I feel alone. I feel abandoned and even misunderstood and invisible. I am not clear about what is really happening, but I have realized that I´ve been blind to many facts that are affecting me deeply

I am a teacher at heart and this won´t never change. But it´s time to re-think , to re-build, to re-arrange… it´s time to reclaim my place and vindicate myself


1 comment:

Aga Gasiniak said...

Dear Zena, There is so much wisdom in your post. When I was studying years ago at Uni I had similar opinion like you. Also I discovered that knowledge is not everything and very often teachers use that as a power without using much heart, very often they do not have a clue how to communicate with people, students etc. Personally for me knowledge, information is not as much equal as wisdom. But I took me time to understand that. I hope you are well. Beautiful and clear photograph. thank you for your blog Zena, I am so glad that I met you here, it is like visiting good, good friend. Thank you and much love to you.

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