Kris Bartels | Struggles with Teaching
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Struggles with Teaching

Aside from all my part time gigs and side jobs that I do, my main focus for work is as an educator.  I have been blessed to be in a position of influence for the past 9 years.  Two years ago, I transferred schools.  The atmosphere of the school was different.  Teachers were different.  The administration was different.  Students have been different.  I look back and reflect on my first seven years and try to see where I may have missed something or where I may have messed up.  Has it been my leadership?  How about my personality?  Am I personable, or just another one fo those teachers?  I search for answers as to why my classes are the way they are.

A few things jump out as I search for answers.  None of them are excuses, just possible answers.  First and foremost, the class setting and curriculum is different.  What I taught previously was in a  different environment with different features.  No big deal, I don’t think.  The other thing is the content area.  Maybe the kids aren’t interested?  If not, why haven’t I changed things up?  Wait….I did! It is wild to for me to think that it might possibly be the students.  As an educator, father, brother, and husband; it is hard to imagine that I may not be able to get the results I want from the students in the class.  I guess I’m not the teacher I thought I was.  Or….or maybe this is just a way for me to develop professionally by putting me in a situation that I am not 100% comfortable with.

I’m not one to put the blame on anyone else.  This is something I need to face and my writing here is step one.  Identifying the problem.  Searching within myself to see if it is something I need to work on.  Do I incorporate more hands-on projects to gain interest from the students?  Do I interact with the kids in a different manner?  Maybe wear a shirt and tie?  Maybe stand at the door and shake every student’s hand?  What if the content area really isn’t that interesting to them?  Then what?

On one hand, this internal search is beneficial and I have an opportunity to truly evaluate myself.  On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder what if the students actually put the effort forward?  What if….instead of copying the work, they actually focused and did the work for themselves.  What if instead of blaming others around them, they actually held themselves accountable?  I am really hoping that all these questions get answered sooner than later.

What do you think?