More Annoyed than Amused

Teaching is Hard

Posted by parsingtime on February 12, 2007

You know when I first met Wife (a commenter here on parsingtime and we had met at my wedding but that doesn’t count) at a lovely brunch in Austin I insulted her profession. It was completely accidental,  I was horribly mortified and was chastised by Husband for my terrible behavior. It was made more awful by the fact that Wife was marrying a friend of ours from college whom both Husband and I like a great deal. Wife if you read this: I still feel bad (and will for the rest of my life, because I like to torture myself with everything horrible I’ve done in my life) and I’m really sorry.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I am attempting to tutor my sister-in-law. She is taking a community college level government course and I being a government major in college have been retained to explain and answer questions, help her prepare for tests and help her with her writing assignments in this class.

In the process of trying to tutor her I have come to realize how very terrible I am as a tutor and that teaching other people anything is really really hard. You can’t just explain something in a manner that is understandable to you, you have to figure out how the person you are teaching learns best and above all you must have the patience of a saint. I’m only trying to help one person so I can’t even imagine have 30 kids in a room and having to teach them. Not only that, but I’m dealing with a 21 year old, not a bunch of elementry kids which has to be infinitely more difficult. So basically it boils down to I suck at tutoring and have a lot of respect for the good teachers I’ve had in my life.  Also a shout out to Wife who is embarking on her teaching career.


One Response to “Teaching is Hard”

  1. Wife said

    Parsing Time,

    I remember Husband (mine, not yours) saying you felt very foot-in-mouthy after said brunch and I meant to email you and tell you not to worry about it but I never got around to it. I am very busy and important. I believe at the time you said something about never wanting to teach. It didn’t bother me at all because I’d never want to do your job either. So please absolve yourself of the guilt. You have bigger things to worry about, like offending an entire subcontinent.



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