Balancing Teacher and Student

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I recently wrote about my first steps as a teacher. I was fresh off having a great class, excited, and feeling like I could take on the world. I’ve since had another good class, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning (and a potential observation from my supervisor). However, a certain reality has been creeping up on me: when I’m having a busy week as a student and a busy week as a teacher, that’s a very, very busy week.

I only took three classes this semester, one of them Columbia Poetry Review (which in the Spring semester is not as time intensive as in the Fall semester), so I did set myself up for the reality that I might be busier than I initially suspected. However, these past few days have still been eye-opening.

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The real stress comes from the fact that teaching is a great unknown for me, and so it’s something I’m constantly thinking about, even when I’m supposed to be doing other things. When I’m doing an assignment for school, or a reading, etc, I’m pretty confident I know when I’m done. I trust that I know what I’m doing enough as a student that I can set something aside and come back to it in class, knowing that it’s going to be OK.

I haven’t really gotten to that point as a teacher. I have the assignment that I plan to give my students tomorrow typed out so it can be printed in the morning and handed out, but I know I’m going to keep thinking about it tonight, and who knows if I’m going to want to make a change in the morning. I might change the way I organize my group activity. Who knows.

I guess the point is, so far, I’m thinking about what I want to do as a teacher pretty close to all the time. A lot of times that’s very rewarding, but having it constantly there when I need to be doing other things is something I’m going to need to adapt to.