Ah, you thought I had already gone back to school on Tuesday, did you?
Well, yes I did actually. I started teaching one of my writing classes on Tuesday morning and the other on Wednesday evening.
But Friday marks my first day back this semester as a student.
The first day of class feels very different when you enter it as a student rather than a teacher. There is a lot more preparation involved as a teacher, and the starting day almost feels like opening night. There is a lot of pressure to be organized and ready to go from the minute you step into that classroom. I don’t think I’m the only instructor to have ever had teaching nightmares. I get them quite often, however, at the start of every semester.
Let me tell you about this year’s nightmare.
I was teaching my class on the first night, and many of the students were repeats from a previous level so we all felt comfortable with each other. Suddenly, however, I realized that there were a lot more students coming in than I had on my roster. The room also seemed to expand into a lecture hall. At some point, I figured they were in the wrong place, so I asked for anyone taking Spanish 101 to please raise their hands. “Go away!” I said to those students. “Your classroom is down the hall!”
They all trooped out, but something was still wrong. Now it was just me and my students, but the lecture hall had morphed into the gymnasium and the marching band was playing. I asked why they were there, because my class was clearly scheduled for the gym for that time. The director told me that they always practiced at the same time every day in the gym, no matter what class was in progress. I knew I was going to have to teach all semester long next to that fully-uniformed marching band as they performed.
That’s when I woke up in the cold sweat. Okay, it’s been well below freezing in New York for several days, so it was really just waking up in the cold.
But today is different. Sure, I’ll have to pay attention and do my assignments and study for tests. But today? All I have to do is show up on time and remember to bring a pencil.
Bliss. Just bliss.
Luckily I just got a new pencil sharpener, so I’m all ready to go!