Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

The Burden of Presence

I've been meeting with students all week in one-on-one appointments. I almost always enjoy these encounters, however brief. But they exhaust me. I think it's because I have to adjust my approach for each individual. If I only have one or two meetings, that's not too dfficult. When I'm having more than that in unbroken succession, however, the labor of identification becomes arduous. I have to identify each student's specific interests and needs. In order to do so, however, I also have to engage in identification of the other sort, in which I imaginatively occupy their position. It's like watching an intense movie or play, almost. And yet, I wouldn't give this time-consuming task up for all the world. From my perspective, good teaching demands it.
Tags: autobiography, everyday, teaching

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