The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Tomorrow is only a day away

Okay, I’m a bit nervous. Tomorrow is the first day of school. I’ve spent the last few hours pacing my apartment, unable to focus on even the simplest tasks. This is worse than any first date I’ve been on. I sort of anticipated being a little anxious, but these kids really give me the jitters. I just don’t know what this whole teaching thing will be like. I don’t know much about the students’ English level. I have no idea how much time my planned activities will take up. I’m totally clueless about their educational backgrounds and preferred styles of learnings. Over five classes, I’ll be teaching about 175 students, who aren’t too much younger than I am. Somehow I never realized it as a student, but a class of thirty-five students is intimidating. How will I remember all their names? How will I grade all those papers? How will I avoid losing their grammar assignments?

But what’s most nerve-wracking is that I REALLY want to be excellent. I want to be liked by the students—preferably all 175—and respected by my colleagues. While I’m at it, I want to enjoy it too. It is the first time that I’ve been so emotionally invested in something that I am so completely clueless at.

There was a brief teaching orientation earlier in the year, and there was one lesson that I remember well. The gist of the class was, “you will suck at teaching.” Of course, the instructor continued to by saying that that was okay, and that you will only suck sometimes. For any teacher, not every class or every lesson plan will work. This is probably an important lesson to internalize.

I hope I learn it next month.

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3 Responses

  1. Susan Shay says:

    You will be fabulous…as your grandfather would say “you are brilliant”. Everyone will be nervous – especially your students!

    Your photography is just stunning…I am glad to see that you are sharing it with us all online. Looking forward to seeing more and reading future updates.

    All the best,
    Susan (and Jack, too.)

  2. Chris,
    Sus and Jack shared your link with me. Gorgeous photos! Eric and I loved Hong Kong — probably our favorite skyline, particularly from the water.

    Having taught for a number of years, I can reassure you that the sinking feelings will disappear very quickly. You’ll end a class feeling like a total failure, but you’ll fix those mistakes in the next class and realize that it’s all a learning process for you, too, and not just your students. And believe it or not, students are pretty forgiving. In fact, most of the time they don’t even realize it when you screw up. So take it all in stride, enjoy every moment, and just be yourself. You’ll have a fabulous experience!

    Hillary (Susan’s sis)

  3. Adam says:

    Be Yourself – Be Brave – Be Patient.
    You’re going to be a great teacher.

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