I teach therefore I am (going nuts)

OK so, I am not presently teaching. I am learning to teach. I will teach in the fall. Got the job. Yahoo. But at present, I am poring over pages of printed documents that my supervisor sends me that are quite overwhelming; documents that say things like: Perhaps you could give checks, check-plusses, and check-minuses based on a rubric that you give students. Maybe a certain number of each within the three-part range can equate to a grade that falls under a “prewriting activity” portion (worth 5% or so) of the final grade.

Hey, now. What’s up with all that? That’s getting into math. I’m a Basic Writing II teacher not a professor of Blah, Blah, Blah.

Anyway, I learned three things last night:

  • I’m as hollow as a log
  • I’m catastrophically overwhelmed
  • I’m blind as a bat (Well, that’s an exaggeration. But I did learn that I need reading glasses for bigger print now.)

More importantly, I am losing faith in my self and my ability to learn, process and retain information and ultimately, teach. And a couple more things. One, let’s not forget a general uneasiness to perform in front of students and two, I am beginning to worry about my growing disintegration of vocabulary words.  This leaves me feeling self-conscious, mindless and just plain terrified to get up in front of an audience of judgmental, snickering twentysomethings who don’t have patience for my little “oh, it’s right on the tip of my tongue” crap. I fear I’ll be up there, at the head of the class, and panic will ensue. I will need only to hear myself say: You’re a fraud, Tracy. You’re not qualified to teach anything, let alone this class. And down I’ll go. Into the hall of college adjunct fame for passing out and hitting the floor under the dry-eraser board.

Ok, so maybe that last bit won’t happen at all. Maybe I will stutter and stammer a few times until I build up more confidence and “get it.” Maybe everything will be alright. One thing’s for sure…I will definitely have to calm down about the whole thing before driving everyone nuts, including myself.

4 thoughts on “I teach therefore I am (going nuts)

  1. alwaysjan

    If you’re only hollow, overwhelmed, and blind as a bat, then you’re good to go. Really. I often feel the same way and I teach 3rd graders! And yes, we’re supposed to do those stupid rubrics too. Imagine explaining those to eight year olds.

    Each year before I start class (teaching is my second career and this fall will be my 6th year), I’m hit with this overwhelming fear that I’m going to be revealed as a fraud. But then the curtains go up, and it’s show time! Go with your gut and you’ll be fine. Really.

  2. sevenperfumes Post author

    Thanks Jan, I appreciate it. It takes a lot of self-confidence to believe in oneself. Sometimes I’ve got it, sometimes I don’t!


  3. Jan

    Sounds overwhelming! If you forget a word, just try to assume a look such as
    you are searching for the perfect word, and not having a senior moment. (I hope you appreciate that I changed “like” to “such as” in my second sentence. Ms. Shaw would be proud.) My friend Charlie just started teaching high school science, and he said by far the hardest part is not the teaching, it’s maintaining control of the classroom. Good luck!

  4. sevenperfumes Post author

    Dear Lord. I have a feeling that that will be the hardest part. Inciting enthusiasm and keeping them focused. I’ll actually be teaching in a computer lab, which I find to be incredibly impersonal. Not to mention, they’ll be sneaking onto facebook every second.


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