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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Why I'm nervous

CHINA | Tuesday, 16 October 2007 | Views [533]

For the past few weeks, I haven't gotten nervous before class a single time. I've read over the section of the book we were working in and gathered my materials, preparing slightly for what was to come. Most of my classes went very smoothly considering my lack of preparation.

I was never nervous because I looked at my classes like I looked at my orientation groups while I was serving as an Ambassador and Advocate at LSU. I just would keep their attention and get the information across and everything would work out. To do this, I often looked like an ass. But making a fool of myself always seemed to keep them interested. Translating these skills onto Chinese students worked well. For awhile.

Last Friday, I felt like I was in front of a firing squad, and they all had bullets. The class went exceptionally bad -- the students weren't participating and were being very disrespectful toward me. I was frustrated. I left the class wondering what went wrong and what I could do to correct the problem.

I decided to stray for the normal assignments in my book. I needed something to catch their attention, something to help me understand what they're interested in.

I might be a bitch, but I'm making them do group presentations. Completely free form, any topic, 5-15 minutes. They get two days of class to prepare. They will present next week.

So far, I'm satisfied with the results. We'll see how it turns out.

But this is the first time since I started teaching that I actually cared about the material. And I got nervous about class.

Tags: Work

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