Turns out writing about teaching is a hell of a lot easier than actually teaching. You sit in front of a keyboard, check Twitter, send an email, check Twitter, think about doing some writing, check Twitter, do some internet shopping, tap, tap, tappity-tap and then it’s lunchtime. In comparison to what I’d be doing in the classroom…well, there is no comparison really. I can go to the toilet when I want to and everything.
There’s a thrum when you’re teaching. An anxious energy that for me hasn’t dissipated even after years of doing it. I still get nervous every time I walk into those whiteboard arenas of the mind and soul. I don’t get that when I’m writing (probably something to do with the lack of projectiles and mum-cussing). For me, writing is a calm process; it’s serene.
Unless I’m writing about behaviour.
If you have a look back over all the posts in this here paradigm-shifting, game-changer of a blog, you might notice the conspicuous absence of that subject. That’s not by accident. This place has always been somewhere where I can hang out – a warm, friendly cosy little nook of the internet where I can transmit whatever gibberish about teaching I care to and some of you are even good enough to read it. I don’t feel warm, friendly or cosy when I write about behaviour.
I feel the thrum.
More than any other subject, I worry. I worry about what happens if someone chooses to listen to me, tries something I suggest and it goes wrong. I worry about leaving people in a worse position than if they’d not cast their eyes over something that I’d written. I worry that it’s bad advice.
(I don’t do this half as much as with other subjects. What’s that? ‘Maybe I should?’ Hush, you.)
The reason I get all twisted when I write about behaviour is because I know how important it is. I know how it feels when it’s amiss. How it can tear you up. How it can ruin chances. How much it hurts.
So when I write about behaviour I am careful. I listen to the thrum in the background. I don’t find it comfortable.
But then I don’t think it ever should be.