I hate teaching

| teaching

I can’t believe it. I’m actually _dreading_ class tomorrow, and the
conflict is tearing my mind apart. I hate teaching. I hate the
fact that I’ve come to hate teaching.

Today I spent hours trying to figure out a data mining package in time
for class tomorrow. The interface had changed a bit, so I I dug up a
recent tutorial and struggled to make sense of things. I could follow
the tutorial, yes, but I couldn’t _explain_ what was going on.

I couldn’t go beyond the tutorial. I couldn’t go beyond the predefined
examples, beyond just clicking on what people tell me to click on. I
_hate_ that. I hate myself for being limited to that.

This was a stretch for me, and I just can’t make it. It’s not a matter
of spending more time on it. I could spend the hours I planned for the
preparation of each class, but I still can’t learn fast enough or deep
enough to give real value to the class. There are some things I
_can’t_ learn on my own, at least not within the timeframe. I need
_years_ to work with this material; years and interest, and I’m not
even that keenly into it!

I can’t continue with this. I can’t get up there and talk about things
I don’t know about. I need to stop and think. I’m going to
inconvenience a lot of people if I pull out of the course, but in the
long run I think it will be better for my sanity to do so. My
instincts are telling me to get out.

How do I explain this? How do I make them understand that if I went on
to teach, I would hate myself even more? I’d rather not teach than
teach horribly. The cost of breaking my promise is less than the cost
of going against my principles. I’ll pay for it either way, but I’d
rather deal with my private failures than inflict them on the

I can’t keep standing up there and talking about things I don’t know
anything about. The students deserve more than that. And if I give in
to that pressure to just _teach_, to just keep talking, I’ll lose

I love teaching, but this isn’t teaching. This is just _delivering_.
This is just repeating whatever’s in the tutorial. There’s very little
of my self in it, very little of my stories… I am not teaching. I am
wasting people’s time, and I hate myself for that.

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.