Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This past weekend I taught a class at the nearest community college. The class only had three people in it, but they were the kind of students who are so engaged an interested that they feel like ten students. It was a significantly positive experience in many ways. Not the least of which was realizing that a literary life is possible down here in my "new" community and second, realizing that I am starting to like teaching. Enough that I'm considering doing more of it. I like the workshop or day-class format the most, meaning that I'm not sure I'm ready to investigate teaching on a full-time level.

But as I've been trying to figure out where my career is going, what I want, and what to do if the freelance life doesn't support me indefnitely, teaching is the thing that keeps rearing its wordy little head. After all, I did go ahead and get the one graduate degree that is most favored for teaching creative writing: the MFA, even though it had nothing to do with teaching for me. I have taught, sometimes against my better judgment, classes and workshops on writing for the past three years at various institutions and community centers, some more successfully than others, and I did just complete a "how to" instructional book on writing for writers. Could the signs be any more obvious.

The reason I have resisted teaching has been insecurity. There's the whole, "Those who can't write, teach" baloney. And the fact that I don't feel like an expert no matter how much I may know. I don't yet have a successful fiction publishing career, either, so a part of me continues to fear that this makes me somehow not "qualified" even though I've written six novels and hundreds of stories and will continue to do so.

Teaching, ultimately, is about being both utterly vulnerable and firmly organized. It's sharing what you know, admitting what you don't, and being interested in helping others take the same journey. So anyways, the fact is, I'm interested now. I want to explore my teacher-side, and I know that now that I have opened these doors, interesting opportunities are going to come in.

JPR

1 Comments:

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Trushka said...

What about looking for a teaching position in Uruguay? ;)))

Love,
P.

 

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