Monday, January 19, 2015

Gear Up

I start teaching on Wednesday.  I'm in my 5th year of teaching, and I've taught this class at least four times now.  I pretty much have my notes worked out (thankfully, basic chemistry hasn't changed much), and I know what I want to cover in the exams, etc.

I still get a little hit of anxiety before the semester start, though, and I'm battling through it right now.  This semester, it may be induced by the new interface I have to use (Blackboard) and the new homework program that I'm using.  Eventually, they should make things easier (i.e. less grading!), but I still have to figure them all out.

I'd like to think if I worked through my to-do list and marked everything off, the anxiety would go away.  Or maybe after I've been teaching for 10, or 15, or 20 years, it'll be so easy I won't even bat an eyelash.  But I think part of it is just a by-product of my introverted nature (yes, I consider myself a high-functioning introvert), and most likely, it won't go away until I get that first class out of the way.  Then I can move on to my teacher's high--I do love teaching chemistry!

It's frustrating to have that pit in my stomach (and it makes it hard to go to sleep!), but over the years, I've worked out ways to function through it.  Lists are important--I think part of the anxiety is that I'll forget something important.  I try not to make any really important decisions, knowing that anxiety can really color how I view a situation.  I lean on David a lot.  He's such a rock during times like these, and he really helps me see what is normal and what is anxiety-induced.  Music, deep-breathing, knitting, exercising...I try not to plan anything super-complicated right before my class starts.  Except maybe making 600 chinese dumplings...because then I could eat them.  Mmmm. 


  1. Dumplings. Yum! You'll do great this week! I always get anxious before the start of something new as well. Actually I'm anxious about even considering taking on a new job!

    1. Thanks! I definitely still have some things on my to-do list, so there's a chance I'll feel better soon. :) There is so much to consider about a new job, and then actually starting it too...I think most people would feel anxious!