One of the answers to the query at College Misery that I discussed in my previous post was:
Teaching was the only thing my degree is good for. I never had illusions about it being wonderful.
Nothing annoys me more than this attitude of fake martyrdom. If your never thought your degree was going to lead you to anything wonderful, then why, for Pete’s sake, did you get it? And how do you manage to come into the classroom, look into the faces of your students, many of whom probably do think their degree will result in something wonderful, and not feel like a total, absolute fake? Why don’t you just resign and look for something that will be wonderful for you?
Granted, teaching is not for everybody. Just like every other profession. But there are people who were born to teach and it is so sad to see all these malcontents occupying the spots that really good teachers could be given instead.
When I find myself in front of a classroom, speaking to my students, I get this incredible feeling which is akin to flying. I never tried drugs (I’m a very boring, conventional person), but I think that this is what a high must be like. You feel like you can do anything, your body becomes weightless, and you have this almost mystical experience of connecting with an audience on a profound level that words cannot describe. This doesn’t happen every single time, of course. But when it does, it is an absolutely priceless experience.
The reason why my students love me so much in spite of me being a very tough grader who routinely fails many of them and an autistic with a very distant personal manner is that I know how to create this environment of learning-worship (I just can’t find any other word for it) for them.
It is so annoying to imagine that there are so many of these miserable creatures who are sitting there, getting a salary they don’t deserve for doing a half-assed job of what other people could turn into a sublime experience both for themselves and for the students.