People have asked me how my first week at school went, and I have to say, I had a lot of fun. I did feel quite apprehensive before my first class, but I think that in some ways every teacher, no matter how seasoned, must feel at least a little bit of apprehension before beginning a new class. You just never know what kind of group you’re going to be dealing with. Will they be dismissive, responsive, or worst yet combative? You just never know. As I waited nervously for my first class to begin, in my heart I felt like a little kid entering school for the first time, instead of a well-educated writing instructor. In fact, I think Billy can probably better explain how I felt:
The fact that I was going to be in charge of the class did nothing to ease my anxiety, and in fact my being in charge may have heightened it. But I made it through, and now I’ve realized something that I was ignorant of having never taught before: Standing and talking in front of students tires you right the hell out. Bring a Red Bull or some crystal meth, because you’re gonna need it.
This afternoon I was talking with a friend and fellow teacher, and we were both amazed by the varying dynamics of different classes. As I’ve already stated, it takes a lot out of you to stand and lecture for an hour at a time, but in some classes the enthusiasm of the students fuels you on lessening the fatigue. As a teacher you feed off of their interest and excitement, and they off of yours. I walked out of several classes just like this:
Unfortunately, some classes are just the opposite. Their lack of interest and refusal to participate sucks the life and energy right out of you. My friend likened the students in those classes to succubi and incubi, and I have to agree. In one of my classes I fight and fight to get someone, anyone, to answer simple questions. Their lethargy and lack of interest forces me to ramp up my energy, and by the end of that class I’m emotionally drained.
Anyway, you all know I like to talk out of my ass, so teaching and I go together like peas and carrots.