tends to be associated with something negative, but it's actually quite powerful when one uses it wisely. One of the problems it brings is that its consequence
tends to be criticising –and it ends up there. But the other day I read something that said that people who were satisfied with their lives tended to stay where they were; that they wouldn't move forward in life because being content made them somehow numb to other possibilities. And we can't afford falling asleep. Not in our personal lives (because taking things for granted makes relationships stale) and not in our professional lives (because if we do the same thing year after year after year our motivation plummets, and who can stand doing something 8 hours a day without a bit of a buzz here and there?). We can't afford to be caught somewhere between nowhere and goodbye. So a positive thing about dissatisfaction is that it has the power to stimulate change
I once heard an English teacher brag '"...and that's how it's done" after finishing a class. I'm actually quite self-critical so that's something that would never occur to me, and those type of comments always catch me off guard. Either that or when training teachers answer '"well, I think everything went pretty well" when they're asked how their first teaching experience was like. But after being quite shocked by their smugness I come to my senses and I either feel like dismembering such a huge ego or like going back to square one and help them become empirically critical and emotionally intelligent instead of teaching them how to teach English. There has to be a 'but' somewhere
. There has to. But not as a destructive attack on bits and pieces of a system we have no control over. (Because then we would need to tackle dissatisfaction and find tips
or full explanations
of how to deal with it in professional situations).
Buts should be more like hints on courses of action with full understanding on the fact that everything's a product of interaction, and that 'blame' is as distributed as cognition is
. That 'but' has to target something we can change.
One of the things that makes me be dissatisfied? That ESL teaching is a lonely profession. And I wonder... could it be done differently?
Maybe now that the question is out there, it's easier to take action.