First Taste of Teaching

Tuesday I taught my first class. And it didn’t shatter my confidence or scare me away from teaching forever. (Yeah!) I was pleasantly surprised by the way by my nervousness disappeared after a few minutes in front of the class, even though I mixed up the order of my lesson a bit. It was mid afternoon, and the class didn’t have much energy, but we made it. They made up scary stories and shared them with the class…and most ended with someone dying.

Two too-cool-for-school kids sat in the back and tried to sleep the whole time, and motivating them to participate – or at least stay awake – is probably the biggest improvement I need to make. Unlike some ETAs, I’ll be teaching the same class again next week. I don’t feel the immediate attachment to these kids that some ETAs do, but I’m glad I have another class to tailor my next lesson plan to their needs. In my evaluation, other suggestions included speaking more slowly – an adjustment for almost everyone who hasn’t taught ESL – and bringing more energy. (But to not be high energy if it isn’t natural…in which case I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.)

But I’ll admit, I felt like a legit teacher when the camp instructor told me my board work was good. The other big compliment he gave was how it was impressive that I didn’t use technology (except for showing part of Thriller as a hook). That was nice, but in the second lesson, we’re not allowed to use technology…and this time I’m struggling.

So far the most challenging part about teaching is coming up with my own unique lesson plans. After orientation, we’ll have access to an extensive library of lesson plans and materials, but right now I have to figure it out on my own.


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