The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.
This morning, I noticed an “urgent” e-mail from my work saying that I had to get a tuburculosis test and that, if I did not get a tuburculosis test ASAP, I would be fired.
I responded, “I will get a tuburculosis test ASAP. However, I assure you that I do not have a 19th century lung disease. I am consumption-free.”
The threat of a tuburculosis outbreak notwithstanding, this e-mail hi-lighted a difference between the way my mind works, and the way an administrator’s mind works.
I will be the first to admit that I suck at the administrative side of teaching. I am sometimes late turning in paperwork, or late getting tested for 19th century lung diseases, I’m bad about keeping up with all the e-mails I get. I would make a really really bad administrator.
I think the reason I’m bad at this stuff is because my mind works differently. I don’t think about making sure my administrative ducks are in a row. Instead, my mind is focused on teaching, coming up with lesson ideas, creating discussion, sharing and reading writing. I have a passion for reading and writing, and I try to instill that in my students, and I think I’m fairly good at this.
I love teaching because it gives me the freedom to be who I am, to share my passions with others, and to be creative. I do not like the administrative side of teaching. I just don’t. I comply, I do what I must to keep my job, but the thought that I could be fired over an administrative detail, or I could lose my health insurance over being two days late with a piece of paper is baffling to me. My mind is focused on other things.
Some people have administrative minds, and I suppose, in the world we live in, paperwork and details are important. But I don’t think I’m alone in saying that this stuff frustrates the hell out of me.