Thursday, September 1, 2016

First Day of School Jitters

Today I made up my new office at school. I start classes again tomorrow. A sign on top of my papers in the adjunct drawer. I wrote it myself last December. It said "ALICE'S DRAWER COMING BACK FALL 2016." Fall 2016 seemed very far away at the time. I go through the papers--extra grammar quizzes, a reading or two, and a lot of student evals. Memories of all my old students came rushing back. I'm not disappointed to be back to work. I love teaching. I love community college. I love English. But for the first time in my whole life I am scared.

Any time I start something new I know I won't be great right away. The bar is low, and I make progress. Not bad. I wasn't nervous for my first classes at my current institution or even my first classes ever. But I'm nervous today. Because a year ago I had it down. I knew every day's lessons and how to make them fun and exactly how to talk to the student who simply can't write complete sentences. I have forgotten a lot. I have my notes for tomorrow, yes, and my old syllabi, but so much is hazy. What if I haven't budgeted enough time? What if I budgeted too much? What if I accidentally skip over important steps in the essay process? What if they don't like me? There's so much more to lose when you're doin' pretty good. You know what it's like.

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