Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What I learned at Southwestern

The "panel" on which I sat in my professor's class at Southwestern on Monday ended up being just myself and a woman, a Chicana lesbian professor from St. Edward's. For an hour and a half.

When I was a student at Stedward's, anytime I had to get up in front of my peers (i.e., classmates) to do anything, whether it was a presentation, leading a discussion, debating, whatever, I was always a nervous wreck. I was so afraid of looking stupid or being judged or everyone just thinking I was an idiot. I always conflated this phenomenon in my head with my fervent desire to be a teacher, and have been wondering how in the world I intend to stand up in front of classes every day and teach when I get that nervous.

Well, as it turns out, maybe I have nothing to worry about. On Monday, I was totally at ease. I never got nervous, even as I was sitting in front of the class while the students slowly filed in and got comfy. One by one they entered, and yet, not a raised pulse rate among me.

This didn't even really occur to me until after it was all over. I spoke well; I made them laugh; they asked me questions; I never stumbled over myself; I didn't say anything stupid, or fart. Although I did say "fuck" twice.

But I realized on the way home that I didn't get nervous because I didn't consider those students my peers. I was the "authority," so to speak, and they were there to learn from me, and I was just some dude that came in for a class.

Which gave me a lot more hope for being a great teacher.

Which, by the way, I think I would be.

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