Monday, August 24, 2015

What I need on the first day of class

What I need, I think is a series of warm-up sprints, opportunities to stand in front of a class yammering for 5, 10, 20 minutes so I won't get winded when I have to do the full 50 minutes three classes in a row--start practice slowly in shorts and flats and then work up to teaching suit, pumps, and full makeup.

What I need more is a key to the upstairs classrooms so that when that annoying high-pitched mechanical whine starts up out in the hallway just before class starts, I can shut the door without locking out students. (Or maybe what I need is a sledgehammer so I can smash whatever is making that obnoxious noise.)

What I need is an extra hand to carry all the books and materials for my classes plus dry-erase markers for one class and chalk for another, and I probably need to brush up my chalkboard skills since I haven't taught in a classroom without whiteboards in years, and I need chalk-resistant teaching clothes or a full shower every time I inadvertently lean against the blackboard.

What I need is more caffeine so I can be alert and coherent in front of a room full of first-year students at 8 a.m. three days a week--or maybe they're the ones who need the caffeine. 

(What I really need is another week of summer.)

What I need is patience--with my students, yes, especially the one who came up after class to ask if there's any homework after I'd spent a good ten minutes thoroughly explaining the homework assignment, but more than that I need patience with myself. I'm not exactly new at this game but every year brings new challenges and I'm definitely getting less nimble at adapting to sudden changes. Give me patience.

But first give me a sledgehammer.

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