Do you feel like any of the following Ron Weasleys when you think about stepping into your classroom on Monday?
If so, worry not! Any terror, nausea, or Ron-like panic that may afflict you will abate as soon as you get in the classroom and start actually teaching, because you’ll be great!
This is not our typical advice-laden post, full of sage wisdom. If this is your first time teaching, I’m sure you’ve heard as much advice as you can handle over the past week; if you’re an experienced teacher who has a standing reunion with new semester nerves, you’ve likely heard it all before. Instead of suggestions or advice, then, I offer reminders of things you already know:
1) You are smart.
2) You know things.
3) You are a good writer.
4) You have at least one degree more than your students, in addition to at least four years of academic writing. You’ve got this.
You may think these don’t apply to you, or that I’m generalizing. I’m not. You wouldn’t be at Lehigh if these things were not true.
5) You’re standing at the front of a classroom; by virtue of that fact alone, students assume that you’re smart and know a lot of things about writing and are a good teacher.
6) Like bears, they’re more scared of you than you are of them.*
7) Confidence is the first 90% of being a teacher (science!), and if you don’t feel it, fake it. Fake confidence totally counts.
8) You’re teaching a very cool class, and it will likely be the most fun course they take this semester. Unless you’re teaching differential equations (if you are teaching differential equations, consider… not doing that. You’re in the wrong department).
*I do not endorse testing this theory on an actual bear.
Tell yourself these things enough times and you will inevitably become this Ron:
Then, after you teach you’ll be all:
Good luck to all, and I look forward to hearing about your first days!