I wrote this on 5 September, right after teaching my first class. Enjoy...
I have a confession to make: I love teaching.
I had to tell someone. My first class as a teacher at a Chinese university went dreadfully, but I don’t even care. I love teaching. I don’t know if there’s a greater feeling than being an educator.
I guess I’m getting ahead of myself…
I’ve been in Lanzhou four days now (I think). I got my schedule and have been going nuts stressing out about my classes. I don’t think I’ve ever been nervous about being a teacher before. Nothing at all like this.
Seriously, I’ve been going stir-crazy, absolutely terrified that my classes and my teaching would be a disaster. Any and every bad scenario has played out in my head at least twice.
Then I got in front of my students.
Then everything was okay.
The class, in retrospect, didn’t go well logistically. And the book I’d created my curriculum from, as it turns out, is not the book that my students have. It turns out I’ve been misinformed.
But it doesn’t matter. What matters is I was in front of my students. I got my first opportunity to interact with them, connect with them. That’s what education is about for me. Even if they don’t remember every last thing I taught them—not that I know what those things will be, given this book situation—they will still walk away with a great deal of knowledge.
I think, more so than anything else, the Peace Corps and its mission really allows for that to ring true.
I knew this is what I wanted to do.