I’ve become pretty complacent in lesson planning over the past couple of months. During my most recent course, I just sort of showed up because I knew the lessons already from teaching them for the past two years. I could offer a laundry list of excuses (disguised as “reasons”) for this, but excuses don’t really serve anyone in a meaningful way.
I felt pretty shitty about this, and due to changes in our department (positive changes) complacency will no longer be tolerated. It’s inspired me to up my game, so I’m heading back to the basics of what I learned during student teaching: Over plan.
So here I am, sitting at my computer, typing up my lesson plans and feeling pretty confident in my abilities to fill a 90-minute class.
Let’s hope this works.
The right music also helps: Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix 1
I hope this doesn’t turn into really insane rambling because this is something that’s important to me, but if it does, just know that it’s all my emotions getting in the way.
I didn’t used to be a good ally. When I was younger, I made “gay jokes” and used gay as a synonym for stupid or uncool or any other negative adjective you want to think of. I didn’t get that example from my parents. From what I remember about my childhood, my parents were pretty mum on the issue, and the only actual homosexual people I knew were my mom’s former high school boyfriend and his partner, who have been together just as long as my parents have.
I honestly didn’t really think much of the issue. There were a couple guys at school who later came out, and there was a girl who was already out, but I didn’t really think much of it.
The first close friend I had who came out to me was a couple years ahead of me in school, and I visited her in New York City while she was going to school there. We were all going to a party that night, and she said to me “H (her roommate) and I are going out.” My first thought was “Where?” Then I realized that they were together, and it all just made perfect sense. And I felt really happy for my friend because H was just like her in so many ways, and I felt so happy that she found someone to make her happy.
Now, they are married and have two beautiful little boys, and it makes me sad that there are some people who would call that an abomination. H sews matching Halloween costumes for the entire family and does crafts with her boys while T is at school teaching. T is one of the most dedicated musicians I know, and H is also a musician. It makes me sad that there are people who wouldn’t want T to teach their children music because she is married to a woman, because she loves a woman.
Another person I went to school with also recently started a same-sex relationship, and from what I read far away, it seems to be a loving, caring, healthy relationship. This person is a dedicated science educator, and it makes me sad to think that some people wouldn’t want her to teach their children biology just because she is in a relationship with another woman.
I have another friend who works at an outdoor store, and I went in with another friend and her stepmom. My friend hugged me, and said, “Oh. We should be careful or we’ll look like lesbians.” The friend who worked at the outdoor store is a lesbian, and although I consider her a true friend, I did not say anything to my other friend, and I felt ugly inside for it. How could I call myself an ally and be too weak to stick up for what I truly believed? So what if we looked like lesbians? I know that I am straight, and what’s really wrong with being a lesbian?
My point is, I have enormous privilege as a white, cis, straight, able-bodied woman. People listen to me (sometimes). So it’s time for me to start using this for good instead of only to my advantage.
I do not care who you love, what pronouns you prefer, or what you have in your pants. If you are a decent person, then I respect you for your achievements and your abilities, no matter what they might be. I might not like you because, hey, people are different and have different personalities, but I will respect you. I promise that I will stick up for my friends (and people I don’t know) better when it comes to issues of gender, sex, race, orientation, etc.
Love to everyone. No hate. Also, if I used incorrect terminology and you were offended, I’m very sorry. Please send me a note to tell me the correct terminology, and I’ll edit the post. I’m learning about this, and I hope that you’ll have the patience to teach me.
I’m so tired of people telling me German is an “ugly, angry” language. When my German teacher tells us jokes it’s the sweetest, happiest language in the world. When I teach my father the word for daughter he smiles, repeating “Tochter” to himself until he gets it right, and in that moment German sounds like pride. There’s nothing angry or ugly about a language that never says goodbye, only “until we meet again.”