Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Can't Always Get What You Want. . .

But if you try sometimes, you get what you need.  Or so say the Rolling Stones. Some of you know of my weird situation of having the AP Psych course taken from me after having taught it for 20 years.  I did not react well.  I took it personally.  My ego was bruised.  I was angry and felt betrayed.

After a summer of job searching, much ego soothing, moving to a new home, and filming a new AP Psych course, I still find myself not teaching AP Psych for my local high school.  That decision without any real explanation was infuriating, exasperating, sickening, irrational, absurd, and more.  It took me some time to process everything.  I am good enough for the world (During the summer, I filmed an AP Psych course for Educator.com coming out soon), but I am not good enough for the local high school).  Oh delicious irony.

So after way too much reflection and a decidedly negative attitude coming back into the school year, I realized what I needed--to work with kids.  Generally speaking, adults make me crazy since they are often not rational and have a lot of educational/personal baggage they bring to our various interactions.  The primary reason I got into teaching was the kids.  Kids are fantastic. The kids I have here at my school are fantastic.  Are they all going to college?  No.  Are they all going on to post-HS training of some sort?  No.  Do they need adults who can role model mature behavior and lifelong learning and have a positive and nurturing attitude?  Absolutely.  When I came to California, I realized that most anyone could have taught my students back in the Midwest and the kids would have been successful--they had families who supported them in visible and invisible ways.  Here, the kids need adults since they are often missing the support mechanisms of home, family, and too often, basic needs being met.

So what do I need?  To be working with kids in high school.  What do I want?  To be teaching kids through the subject of psychology (and by extension AP Psych).  Do I need the AP?  No.  Once I accepted that last part, my life became much more positive.  With only two preps, I am becoming a better teacher in both my US Gov and regular Psych classes.  I have time.  Time to advise, time to plan, time to grade, time to work out, time to read, time to relax.

So I choose to be positive by getting what I need.  I choose to create a more positive reality by controlling the things I can control--my attitude.

Be well everyone and may your school years be wonderful and amazing.

Chuck Schallhorn


Adina Shmidman said...

The kids are lucky to have you as part of their day and lives! Much success to you and I am glad that you are still posting!

Daria Schaffeld said...

Cheers to positive attitudes and new beginnings. Thanks for sharing your journey Chuck! Have a wonderful school year everyone.

mbritt said...

Chuck, thanks for sharing your life experience. If these new kids in your life need guidance as it sounds like they do, then they'll be lucky to have you in their life. A dedicated, ever-curious teacher. They need role models - you'll be a great one.