My mother-in-law told me before I started teaching that firstly I would love it, but secondly I could blag it and do it easily. I’m not sure she was completely right. I have enjoyed it in some ways, and been overwhelmed by stress in other ways. I also did not in anyway blag it – when I got too close to even that idea I felt unprepared. But this semester has taught me a lot and I thought I would share my amateur lessons so far:
1. You study more than your students.
2. You have to know the answers even if you’re sure no-one will ask the question.
3. You learn more through preparing and teaching than you ever thought you knew.
4. It is your responsibility if the students don’t understand your point, change your style/technique and explain again.
5. Marking is not as easy as you thought it was when it was your work teachers were marking.
6. It’s often those that talk the least in class, that have the best words when they do.
7. It is EXTREMELY important to love your subject, otherwise why should the students love it?
8. Repetition – is required sometimes to get the point across.
9. What you’re teaching must be relevant (or, why are you teaching it?).
10. If you don’t care, you are not a teacher; you are just one person talking to other people.
After 14 weeks, 2 classes, more hours of preparation than I can count, hundreds of interesting things to learn, and 1 semester as a lecturer in an awesome college, I am exhausted. I have grown in confidence, I have met some amazing people, I have stressed out of my head, but I have come out feeling like I’m closer to knowing what I’m really passionate about. But to find out more about that you’ll have to wait for next semester.
If anyone is interested in what subjects I’ve been teaching, check out God Talk for History of Missions & Psalms.