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First Day Jitters

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Old 07-08-2008, 12:33 AM   #1
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Default First Day Jitters

Tomorrow I begin teaching my summer class. I'm freaking out. It's not that I don't like teaching - I do, and I'm actually very proud of what I do in the classroom - but in the six years I've been teaching college courses, I've never been able to begin a semester without turning into a nervous wreck.

The anxiety lasts about a week and then dissipates, but for the first week I can't sleep, I obsess over details, I prep and prep and prep to the point of exhaustion, I cry, and I DREAD going to class each day. I lie awake and worry that my students are going to hate me.

By the end of the term, I grow attached to my students. I like them, and they like me. But the first week is **** on my nerves.

Any advice for dealing with this kind of anxiety?
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:15 AM   #2
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Have you tried breathing exercises? They really help me! Don't be so concerned about whether or not your students like you. Yes that helps but you're there to give them their money's worth and give them a good education.
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:21 AM   #3
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Wow, you sound exactly like me! I thought I was the only one! I teach high school and every year the exact same thing happens to me. I actually don't have any advice, since I haven't figured out how to deal with it either. But maybe it would help for you to know you are not the only one! I'm going on my eighth year and it never changes!

I guess the thing to remember would be that you know it will get better and it's not going to last forever. That's what I tell myself, because when you are in the moment it seems like those feelings will never go away!

and you will be great as usual!
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:32 AM   #4
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I left academia because the nerves NEVER went away. I've heard some of my best (and most experienced) profs say that they always get nervous before lecturing, and they just try to use them in a positive way. It just means you care about what you do. Best of luck!
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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Hoping all the best for you today!
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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I started summer school on Monday and was a little nervous as well. I will start having nightmares before the start of school in mid-August. Most of my colleagues feel the same way...I think it is pretty normal.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone. First day went fine (it always does). If I can make it to Friday I'll be out of the woods.

I have tried breathing exercises, meditation, prescription sleeping pills. Nothing takes the edge off except time.

I'm also glad to know there are so many teachers (current and former) on this site!
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The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. ~George Bernard Shaw
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