I am excited to share that I taught my first college course today.
I was nervous at first, happy that I had applied an extra layer of deodorant this morning, and looking out at those 13 faces, it hit me: I am teaching a college class. Holy Shit!
Not quite poetic, I admit, but that was the thought. I stumbled a bit and went to my crutch of trying to be funny, which did get a few chuckles. After the fifteen-second “shake it out” I got to business and we started on the Syllabus.
I came out from behind the teacher’s station and sat backwards on the chair – it’s who I am. I’m casual and comfortable, but believe me, I know my stuff. Being comfortable I think helped me be more confident in my knowledge.
I asked the class if I needed to read the entire syllabus or if they wanted me to just touch on the bullet points. I touched on the bullet points and discussed a little bit about each one. I tried to look around the room at their faces to gauge their understanding, but class is in a computer lab room so I was trying to gauge faces around 24-inch monitors.
As the class went on I became more confident in what I was saying – Explaining the reasons for the rules, what the class is supposed to be for, and hopefully that if I do my job right, that these students will have the foundation for writing in higher ed.
I ended the class with the students writing on an index card – Name, Major, What they hope to get or need out of this class. Excellent idea, because I found that a few students needed the class to graduated in their chosen majors – awesome. A couple other students just want to write better papers for future classes – great. One student indicated that they (no he/she on purpose) will want to submit every essay before turning it in to the English Composition instructor. This student will give me a lot of work to do, but I said in class, “There are no papers due for this class, but you must submit at least one essay for review and feedback before you submit it for English Comp. This is required to pass this course. You can submit every essay for feedback if you like, or you can submit just one – but you must submit at least one.”
So this student will be a frequent visitor to my “office” in the tutoring lab on this campus, and that is just fine. Another student stated that English was the worst class in high school – so my radar is up for that student also.
Moving forward – I’ve decided to take this weekend to really dive into the online classroom for this course – I am only with the students once a week, and they may need me more often than that – so that’s what the online classroom will revolve around. There will be resources, lecture notes, and websites to help with citations and organizational strategies…
But now I need to relax my brain – because I’m getting energized again, and getting all sorts of ideas for activities…
I am excited. This is a great opportunity to get started in teaching college. I want to help the students that need it the most – the ones that haven’t quite found their voices yet. These are the voices that need to be heard…