So beyond the drunken Cinco de Mayo celebrations that today may warrant (no judgements 21 and over), this first week of May is also Teacher Appreciation Week.
Why I didn’t know about such a week last year (or the year before or the year before that) is really simple – I WAS TOO BUSY WITH TEACHING!!
When I first got out of grad school, I had the opportunity to teach College Composition at a small vocational college in Norwalk, CT over the summer. I was so nervous because I was SO green in college teaching. I had performed Student Teaching during my program but I was more of an intern than the manager of a high school classroom in Harlem, NY.
Luckily, I learned very quickly that the course content (textbooks, syllabus) was provided by the academic department and I was given the creative freedom to incorporate my own teaching methods to fulfill the course’s objectives.
At that moment, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders because I realized that the classroom would ultimately be my creation, sculpting the material to meet my students’ varied skills/learning styles.
Through trial and error, late-night sessions of course material review (and tweaking), intense research from The Chronicle of Higher Education and self-reflection of undergrad experiences of as a student, I developed my teaching pedagogy that I carry with to this day.