Staying Passionate about Helping Students Prepare for the SAT and ACT
The question goes something like this: “Your job must be so boring. How do you teach the same SAT or ACT questions day in and day out? If I had your job, I would go out of my mind.”
I have gotten this question so many times over the last 12 years that I have begun to wonder myself. But education, teaching, and learning are things I have always been passionate about. Deep down, I have always had this strong belief that most students could score much higher on the SAT and ACT if they went through the right preparation. I have also believed for a long time that the skills necessary to do well on the SAT or ACT are skills every high school student needs.
I have seen SAT and ACT preparation work. I have worked with students who have raised their SAT 250 or 300 points. I have talked to parents who told me that the process of preparing for the ACT and the successful outcome of a higher score gave their son or daughter a feeling of real accomplishment. It reinforced the belief that hard work does pay off and was a boost to his or her confidence. And I hear stories every day of ACT or SAT prep being done ineffectively or inefficiently and this keeps me passionate.
So back to the question: How does a person stay passionate teaching the same material hour after hour, day after day?
When I am working with 5 different students, back to back, over the course of an afternoon and evening, I am often reminded of Sisyphus, the figure from Greek mythology. He was forced to push a huge boulder up a hill, watch it roll back down, and repeat this process for all eternity.
As difficult as this sounds, for me, as for many other educators, helping student after student master the same material is our calling and we enjoy the struggle. I am thankful I am helping students climb the hill rather than pushing a boulder up!
Photo by vintagedept.