The Illuminators

I am at a loss.

An impasse, a quandary, and a multitude of other things right now.

I don’t want to be a teacher.

I really don’t think I have the balls, nerve, assertiveness, or personality for it. I hate yelling. I don’t like bossing people around. I don’t enjoy being a bitch. I don’t like standing in front of people and having them all stare at me with slack-jawed expressions, lifeless eyes, and echoing emptiness between their ears. Having people actually <i>listen</i> to me also creeps me out.

But.

I’ve been researching how to use technology in the classroom, and instead I’m coming across article after article about how technology hinders students. There’s plenty of theories on how technology could help students, but the actual application of these devices has only increased the problems already present in our current public education system. Technology in the classroom has only decreased the average attention span of children, over 50% of children can’t read – let alone at grade level, they can’t spell, they can’t write an essay to save their lives, basic math skills are completely out, science also requires reading…

And I’m brought to tears by this information.

I am depressed by this information, and awestruck that in a supposedly high tech and advanced culture, there are so many who are complete idiots – and not by their own making.

So I am at a crossroads of a sort.

I don’t want to be a teacher. I know who I am, and I know how much stress I can and can’t handle, and I think that becoming a teacher would destroy me just as much as my joining the military would destroy me (I’ve considered this as a possible career choice and discarded due to personality factors. My parents were Airforce, and thus I believe there is merit and value to a military career, but I don’t think it’s the right choice for me). I know myself, and I know that if I became a teacher, I would do my best, but I would not be passionate about it, and that would be a disservice to my students. I would be just one more teacher who is there for the paycheck because my first career option failed. What kind of message does <i>that</i> send kids? It shames me to admit that. It shames me that I would think of teaching as option B where if I were to be truly effective at it, it would have been option A.

Yet, I have a passion for reading and writing. I believe that anyone can write if they just put their minds to it. I believe that unlocking the imagination is the key to greater happiness in everyday life. I believe that putting aside stupid distractions like Twitter, Facebook, and the Xbox and actually engaging your brain are the cornerstone to higher self-esteem, higher standards for personal and professional relationships, multicultural tolerance, higher standards for personal and professional accomplishments, and much more.

I believe these things, and I believe these things should be taught in schools.

But I do not believe that under the current system it is possible to teach these things. I don’t think I can make a difference even if I were to become a teacher. Thus, I would become disheartened by my inability to do anything to change how things are. I would become part of the problem. I would become yet another lackluster and uninspiring state-funded babysitter amidst the millions.

My poor heart. It bleeds for this injustice being done to our youth. It bleeds for the things I have gone through in the public school system that are only now becoming apparent as I sift through my experiences, searching for the root causes of my roller coaster depressions and low opinion of myself, of my unhealthy bodily image, and self destructive tendencies.

My heart bleeds because I am finding that what I am dealing with now should never have occurred, in me or anyone else, though it occurs daily in our youth. And I know that teachers have been a contributing factor to the damage wrought when they should have been alleviating the misconceptions and misinformation. Teachers should have been the guideposts, lighting the way and illuminating the darkness, lifting the burden of ignorance. Yet, in many cases, they were barred from doing such things by those in charge. Barred, punished, and discouraged.

Is this enough reason for me to become a teacher? When I could become part of the problem so easily? Or am I already part of the problem by not wanting to become a teacher?

Is there some other way I can help without becoming a teacher?