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Learning and work

“The kind of work that should be the main part of life is the kind of work you would want to do if you weren’t being paid for it. It’s work that comes out of your own internal needs, interests and concerns.”

Noam Chomsky

My experience of finally getting a teaching job, then getting laid off, then getting another teaching job has led me to thinking a lot about the purpose of work. I hated substitute teaching, but I would say that I hated not working more, but substituting allowed me to enjoy the amount of reading and interest driven learning.

Substitute teaching was mindless work, but it was the mindless work that let my mind wander and really focus on the reading that I did. I grew a lot intellectually.

Now I am employed again as a full time teacher and part of me misses that time that I had to focus on my interests. But, they have been refocused on the learning of my students. This has been an even more rewarding experience. I can take the things that I wanted to learn about and bring those ideas and experiences to my students in my classroom.

I’ve really enjoyed my time off over winter break. I got time to read a book I wanted to and to watch movies that I’ve been waiting to watch. Now, I am recharged and ready to attack the next semester. I’m ready to meet my students need and grow with them as learners. It’s a task we all need to be invested in and I am prepared to learn with them in ways they have never experienced before.

This is the work that I want to do. I want to figure out how to better understand the world. No matter how many books and articles I read I will not understand the world better, unless I begin the interaction with people. My substitute teaching isolated me in my own academic cocoon. Now, it’s time for my teaching job to help me move to the next step in my learning.

Work is fun.

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