Recently I’ve been revisiting Parker J. Palmer‘s wonderful book The Courage to Teach. While listening to the book I’ve been sketchnoting some of the key ideas. In the images below you will find my notes from the introduction (click on an image to view a larger version). If you want to read about my first encounter with Palmer’s book , and how it affected my path as an educator, keep reading after the images.
About a year ago I came across Palmer’s book for the first time at the library, and I began listening to the audio version on my walks to and from coffee shops. At the time I was doing independent computer-related work in the field of education, but I wasn’t in the classroom at all.
The Courage to Teach resonated with me on a deep level because it deals with the inner struggles of a teacher’s life. Those struggles had me wondering whether or not I wanted to pursue a permanent teaching position. But Palmer’s book helped keep me on the path toward a career in education. By recognizing, analyzing, and proposing solutions to those struggles, Palmer gave me hope that I could have a career in education AND maintain my sanity and a healthy lifestyle.
I’m currently a substitute teacher in the Portland area, and after successfully completing a long-term gig at the beginning of this year, I’m convinced that I want to be in the classroom. But I’m also convinced that I want to enter the classroom on my own terms. I want to teach, but I do not desire the over-worked lifestyle of many school teachers. I like sleep, I like exercise, I like pursuing personal interests (like sketchnoting!), and I like spending time with friends and family. I know from experience that a full time teaching position would sacrifice at least one of those important aspects of my life. I think a half-time position would be just right. But then there is the issue of sufficient income. Still trying to figure that one out…
In the meantime, I’ll continue subbing, continue reading, and continue exploring the inner landscape of my own life so that I can figure out what the heck I want to get out of it.