I love pedagogy. I never thought I’d say that when I was an undergrad.
I went into teaching for all the wrong reasons (for the money!) to support myself as an artist. It didn’t take too long to realize that I love teaching; I love the creative, improvisational, and the analytic aspects of it. I love tinkering with my curriculum and methods the way many of my students love puttering under their cars, fine-tuning things that already work. I appreciate, but do not revere, the concept of the आर्टिस्ट-Teacher; that is, someone who teaches, but is an artist first and foremost, I am not ashamed to say that teaching is my art. And viewing my life’s work this way makes it an invigorating, not a depleting, activity.
Every day I perform, interpret and parse part of three to five semester long curricula/texts completely of my own design. I created these carefully sequenced activities and ‘performances’ to exponentially increase the perceptive abilities of my students, transform the paradigms this ‘audience’ has about creating meaning, and imbue them with a sense of personal power and ownership in this world. I do not see how these goals differ from the creation of any tangible or performance art.
The idea of standing in front of a classroom and delivering a message to a group of individuals is certainly not something that can be done by just anyone. Being new to the teaching profession I quickly understand the importance of “studying and mastering the craft”. I’ve always had a great respect for teachers having had educators in my family (aunts & uncle) however that respect has been magnified a million times after having taught public high school myself. Teaching has become my art!