Oh, the first day of school looms on the morrow, and my nerves are in a jumble—double knotted as it were. I am not only a student, going back to my last semester in this degree program, with my thesis in limbo, waiting for edits, but I am also a teacher with forty-eight new students in my very small hands.
How do you introduce yourself to your students properly on the first day? This time last year, students were afraid of me. ME! My hippie-dippy-free-spirit-love-all-self scared them. Later, they told me so: that I had been intimidating the first few weeks of class. Bah! I shook like a leaf, paced the rooms, and prayed to the Gods that they wouldn’t notice how nervous this first time teacher was.
Well, a year later, I’m still nervous. Nervous that the students will be offended by my potty-mouthed, vulgar, and crude way of communication. That they won’t relate to what I present them with. That they won’t actually learn a damn thing from me. Granted, I’d seen the progress in many of my students over the last year, the ones who stuck with me straight through, and even some I only had half of the time. I could SEE it.
So, why am I still nervous? Does it make me a good teacher to care so much? I hope so, but I doubt myself at times, as we all do at one time or another.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to teach; I love to write! So obviously, I love to teach writing, which is exactly what I do. And tomorrow, I will step back in front of the classroom, learn who my students are, what they need, and how to make them laugh. And, hopefully, I’ll get this feeling come every August for decades to come, experience several dozens of people every four months, learn something new along the way, change maybe one or two lives, but influencing many, which is exactly as I have always aimed to do.