I am not a great teacher. That's true on the same level that it was when I first got my driver's license and was not a great driver. In fact, I had far more driving practice than I have teaching practice, so there shouldn't be much surprise that I'm still more worried about crashing my class into a ditch than am I able to fly down the teaching highway while simultaneously drinking coffee and soothing a toddler in the backseat. I have no doubt that teaching experience will allow me to be at least a good teacher, but I'm struggling right now.
I've taken courses on teaching and TAed more than I care to remember, but teaching an entire class by oneself is not the same thing. I'm struggling to find ways to engage the students and wearing myself down trying to identify all of the content I want them to learn while not overwhelming the topic - simultaneously over and under thinking every lecture, only to turn around and start the process again right after class. It's exhausting and it makes it even more painful when I feel like I'm staring out at the most bored people in the universe at that given time or get through a lecture super early. As much as I dislike crossing campus in the throng between classes, making the quiet walk back across campus alone because I ran out of material 20 minutes early is far worse.
I guess the good news is that I care about the experience of the students, but I can't help feeling sorry for this first class they have given me to experiment with. There's no such thing as a class simulator, so learning with breathing and paying bodies is the only way to get better. There have been a few lectures where I really felt like I nailed it, but so far I've walked out of more trying to make a mental list of all the things I need to do better for that topic next year. For better or for worse, it's a long semester and I hope I'll be a better teacher at the other end.
17 hours ago