At the moment I’m teaching and tutoring a lot of different students doing a lot of different subjects. In addition to the class I teach — which is your basic overview world history class — I’ve also got kids doing a range of different historical periods, including at least two that, I’m gonna be frank, I know less than I’d like about. One includes an area I have pretty good coverage on, so I’m just waiting for the war to start so that I can be knowledgeable again. The other … pffft.
I mean, I take my teaching seriously so I’m doing my reading and trying to catch up — and most of what I teach is ‘how to history’ rather than dates-and-places stuff anyway. But it’s been a long time since I had to really stretch my brain outside my comfort zone like this. It’s an interesting feeling.
I am not really a real teacher, but I do spend quite a lot of my life teaching and tutoring; funny how that works out. But it’s amazing how much you discover you don’t know. I would be astounded if anyone came straight out of a history degree knowing all the areas you’re supposed to cover. Some of them are very specific (that’s the nature of the British system; anyone who’s taken an American high school history class could theoretically teach one as long as they could teach, but British courses go very deep on a very narrow set of subjects). There’d definitely be areas you’d need to read up on, and probably at least one topic you knew absolutely nothing about.
I don’t know how true that is in all subjects — I’m sure English teachers wind up being asked to teach books they’ve never even heard of too.
Anyway, that is my teaching-related thought for today. Come back next week when we’re going to be doing some TV-watching … and the week after that, I’ve got a special American history episode of Movie Monday!