Last week, I wrote a blog post about my first day of teaching. Then I didn’t have time to properly edit it, read over it, or even type it up, so I didn’t post it. Thus, you’ll never be privy to my innermost feelings surrounding the start of my teaching career.
That’s probably for the best, because they weren’t really very interesting. Mainly, they involved me reassuring myself with the thought that, if I needed to, I could still adopt a ridiculous teaching persona and pull through.
“Why so much angst over teaching, Zoë?” you ask. “Aren’t you teaching the August Intensive with your senior fellow?”
Yes, indeed I am. Thank you for asking.
For the first month of August, my senior fellow and I are co-teaching an intensive course centered around English writing. The problem was that the day before the first day of class, she got sick. Sick enough that I ended up teaching alone for the first three days, using lesson plans that she wrote up and explained to me. It went okay, and, in a way, I appreciated that time.
You might say that things like this are becoming the pattern of my Shansi experience. I’m given a lot of knowledge and then I go it alone. And you know what? Though it’s terrifying beyond belief, I like it. It forces me to learn exactly what I can and can’t do. And thus far, I’ve found that I can do a lot more than I thought. If I’m traveling alone, I can talk to people and ask to borrow phones and ask what’s going on with my luggage. If I’m living alone, I can learn to take the bus and learn to buy food so that I don’t starve. If I’m teaching alone, I can tell my students what to do even if the instructions aren’t the clearest.
And I only had to teach alone for three days. Then my senior fellow got better and started teaching, so I was able to take more of a backseat, leading one part of the lesson and letting her do the rest. So far, it’s been a really good way to ease into teaching.
That said, I have no revelations for you as far as teaching is concerned. I stand at the front of the room and haltingly explain English writing conventions to a group of seventeen lovely students whoa re too polite to say when they don’t understand what I’m talking about. All I can say right now is that it’s going.