Teaching: from home-school to mainstream!
Today is my first day teaching! It’s 11am right now, and I teach at 2:30pm. The waiting is always the worst part for me so I thought I’d write to take my mind off the waiting.
It’s kind of odd, when you think about it too much (like I have a tendency to do). I mean, I was home-schooled, so I didn’t see many different types of teaching styles; a lot of people talk about a specific teacher that inspired them, but since I taught myself a lot I don’t really know about that. I did go to public school early on, but the “best” teachers – or teachers I liked the most – weren’t necessarily the ones I learned the most from. I’d say the teachers I learned the most from were often the most scary, but also the most challenging.
But I know I’m not a scary person! I’m small, brown haired brown eyed, and kind of introverted (your stereotypical girl-next-door), and I barely look older than most of the students – heck, I am barely older than some of the seniors! And as for challenging… I don’t know. Once you get into college, what’s challenging for one person isn’t usually challenging for the next. What is challenging anyway? Being given too much homework? Going over too much material during class? Requiring rote memorization that allows students to cram and forget material? That doesn’t seem like being a good teacher to me.
What makes up a good teacher? From my college experiences (for me!), my favorite professors were those who were interesting to listen to, obviously liked the material themselves, gave just enough homework and reading to keep people responsible…
Well, maybe it’s not so odd that I’m teaching after all…. I’ve been taking college classes for almost 9 years. When I was home-schooled, I enjoyed teaching my little sister. I like helping others and explaining things. I’ve done fine at being a teaching assistant and tutoring.
Of course, all these worries are leaving out the biggest worry of them all: that’s my fear of public speaking! I should be ok by mid-semester, but I get a feeling the first few classes were going to be rough. I read somewhere that more people are afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. Something like 40% of Americans. Crazy, huh?
It’s odd … being home schooled and then up and teaching in a private university. It makes me wonder what my parents would say – am I going too mainstream? Am I compromising my students by giving them all exactly the same lecture? Am I somehow disregarding my academic and moral integrity?