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Another Post on Teaching

September 22, 2014

teachers-appleSo, as you have all heard, Cinderslut has become a teacher. She’s passed all of her classes, done her student teaching, and landed herself a new teaching job this fall. Many congrats to her! However, this post is about me. It turns out that two of the naughty princesses will be teachers this year. My life got turned upside down about a month ago when—out of the blue—a professor I know emailed and offered me a teaching job. Now, in America being a Teaching Assistant is an integral part of most PhD programs. However, in the UK teaching experience can be hard to come by and teaching an entire course is definitely not a given. So basically: I had to take the job. Although I am both flattered and excited, I have to admit: the prospect of teaching this class is pretty scary to me. As I did my undergraduate in the US, I am not super familiar with the systems employed for undergraduates at my university. Almost everything is different than what I am used to: classes, lectures, and tutorials are all separate things, and students aren’t given exams and their papers don’t have scores—instead their entire grade is calculated after two weeks of exams that happen at the end of their final year. My undergraduate experience was nothing like that! The other scary thing is that practically no assistance has been given me in crafting this class. There is no established structure or routine; instead, all I keep hearing is ‘everyone does things differently. Figure out what you like!’   Now on some fronts, this is empowering. I can teach however I like; I can structure the class to emphasize what I think is important; I even get to decided when and how often we meet. Empowering for sure, but also… terrifying. Especially as a first time teacher, I wouldn’t mind having more structure given me. I am worried about making the wrong choices, worried my class will be less good than those given by other teachers who have had a few years to iron out wrinkles. I feel a bit like I have been tossed into the water—it’s sink or swim. Hopefully I will be swimming like a dolphin sometime soon (or at least flopping around like a jellyfish).

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cinderslut permalink*
    September 22, 2014 11:50 pm

    You will be great! The best thing students can have is a teacher who is passionate about the subject–just discuss what is interesting to you!

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