I was reading an article about mentorship a while ago, which specifically commented on how people need to be better trained as mentors. The author was highlighting the issue of how many people who get into mentorship programs with various organizations aren’t prepared for how hard mentorship can be–that your mentee isn’t always going to do what you think is best, listen to your advice, be in a good mood, etc.
I think that’s one of the many difficult things about teaching. I tell kids that doing their homework will help them on quizzes, and they still don’t do it. I tell them to use their resources and notes, and they still throw papers away.
There are a few students who I’ve had very intense “negative” experiences with. I put “negative” in quotes because during those experiences I knew not to take their behavior personally, and that I also needed to reflect on how I acted in the situation.
This week, I’ve had such wonderful moments with those same students. Small ones–hearing them crack a joke, having them pop their head into my class (when they definitely needed to be elsewhere), having them participate and ask questions.
Coming back from break was hard, but it also reminded me that everything–including teaching–is a process. It has its ebbs and flows, and it’s ok that sometimes it goes a little…left. As long as you keep doing the work.