I’ve just finished the first week of instruction of the Fall 2009 semester at San Diego City College. It was a great first week, filled with all the affirmations that have kept me doing my job with a lot of joy in my heart since I went back to teaching full-time about fifteen years ago. Here are some of those affirmations:
YES to students who believe in the power of education to change their lives.
YES to students who are full-time workers and parents, who manage to work it out so they can be sitting in classrooms ready to learn.
YES to students who WANT to go to school with people different from themselves.
YES to students who have never given up on themselves despite the stunning obstacles they have faced.
YES to students who don’t give up on themselves despite the stunning obstacles they face right now.
YES to students who come up and say “this class sounds really hard, but I like that.”
YES to students who think the same thing and keep it to themselves.
YES to students who believe they have a voice that should be heard, and know that learning to express themselves articulately and passionately will help make that happen.
YES to students who ask questions.
YES to students who’ve already started reading the book.
YES to students who respect their teachers.
YES to teachers who respect their students.
YES to colleagues who pull out all the stops to be the best they can be.
YES to staff who remain good humored when professors are flaky and disorganized (and sometimes downright rude).
YES to Fall semester 2009.
And, YES, I’m glad the first week is over.