Page 1 of 2: The end of my first year of teaching

Well that’s all she wrote folks. The end of the school year has come to a close and I can officially say that I have completed my first ever year of teaching!

I had the privilege of teaching over 145 students this year, and I have to say it was quite the roller coaster of a year. Between the students getting to know me and my accent, me trying to get to know my students and their needs, and the plethora of strikes that took place throughout the year it was rough. However, I truly believe it was completely worth all of the struggles because I have no doubt that this was a successful year for us all.

I mean how can you doubt that you did a at least a half way decent job when:

  1. All of your students pass your class- even if it was just with a minimum 50%.
  2. Students seem to enjoy your class and like to participate (when they aren’t tired and hungry- I will not miss that 11 A.M. to 12 P.M. session on a Friday!)
  3. Fellow professors seem to enjoy hanging out with you and other English professors feel comfortable enough to ask English related questions.
  4. Students (both mine and other professors) feel comfortable enough to ask for help with English
  5. Students will come by just to see if they can go pump water/do other little tasks for me.
  6. Students ask if you are going to be back next year.
  7. Students ask if you can be their teacher against next year.

I started this school year full of anxiety and confusion. Not knowing if I was going to be a good teacher, thinking I was going to do more harm than good because I didn’t have a natural grasp of French or this education system, and thinking I was 100% unprepared had me doubting myself for months but now that my first year is over, I know that I can make the following school year even better because of all of the knowledge I gained this year.

Whether this years students know it or not, they did an amazing job teaching me what works for them and what doesn’t, and in doing so they have given me enough information to make sure next years students will benefit even more from working with a native speaker.

So, here’s to the 2016-2017 academic year, and to all the new Education volunteers out there that are feeling the same anxiety I felt in the beginning. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out one class at a time, and your students, colleagues, and PC will be there to help you on your way.

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