School is hard, and I don’t know if it’s right for me.
I don’t shy away from hard things – I welcome them with open pants – but there’s a lot to be said for taking a step back and looking at the Big Picture. Sometimes admitting that something is wrong actually harder than quitting, and this is one of those times.
I don’t want to quit this course. It’s only been four days. I can see the value in what I’m learning. Yes, the material is very advanced – but that’s not a problem; I’m smart. I enjoy a challenge.
And I don’t want to be a teacher.
The program I’m taking (at the advice of my boss) is the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program at Vancouver Community College. The program is designed for people who want to teach adult learners, and can be a stepping stone for those wanting to get their Master Degree in Education. It’s an intensive program with six courses and a practicum, and it’s very detailed.
I am not a teacher. I don’t want to be a teacher. I don’t consider myself a teacher – my job is that of a technical trainer, and to me there is a world of difference. I am not building a curriculum for students; I am passing along procedural and technical information. I don’t have the luxury of a 30-hour course designed to cover one topic; I cover what must be shared and move on to the next item. I don’t evaluate my students – hell, I don’t even have students. I don’t have to be conscious of why my participants are taking my “course” – they’re learning the procedure or software or system because it’s their job.
I do see some value in what I’m learning – ways to engage the learner, for example. Getting their attention and making them care why they’re learning the topic. The rest of it, though .. it’s brutally hard to try and see how it would be applicable in the real world; the world that pays my bills. Outlining a curriculum that I could actually use at work? Building a lesson plan that promotes interactive learning and student participation? How do you do that when your topic isn’t “welding a miter joint” but “changes to a network outage procedure”? When the very nature of your job is procedural and does not invite debate or discussion or even learner activities?
I don’t know that I’ll find the answers in time, or at all. I don’t know that this is the right place for me. I am a trainer, not a teacher. This course isn’t for people like me – but is that my hopelessness speaking, or is it the honest truth? Am I giving up too early; chickening out – or is my assessment true? How much time can I funnel into something that has no (as far as I can tell) practical application for me?
I don’t know what to do. I would be angry at myself if I gave up too soon, but at what point do your reasons for doing so outweigh the fear or failure?
If it makes any difference, VCC also offers a Business and Technical Writing Certificate that I really want to take. It’s not a diploma, but I’m fairly certain I can live without one of those seeing as I’ve done so quite admirably since not graduating high school.
What’s the bigger issue: that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, or that you’re chewing concrete? Yes, the mouthful is large – but you’re trying to eat the inedible. What’s more pressing? The magnitude or the content?
You know, I’ve never dropped out of anything before.