As I have wrote in previous blog posts, I was lucky enough to get undergraduate teaching work this semester, which is something that I have dreamed of since starting my PhD. I got to teach an introduction to psychology course & a sustainable tourism course, which was a great combination.
It has definitely been a learning experience and I think the 7 main things I learnt were:
1. I am more capable at public speaking than I thought:
I think the only way to improve your public speaking skills is just getting out and doing it. So teaching 5 classes a week was definitely great practice and I was surprised to find that it was actually easier than I thought.
2. That wearing bright outfits makes me feel more confident and comfortable:
I made it my mission to wear bright, professional, and unique outfits each week. This made me feel more comfortable, which definitely made public speaking easier. I even got positive comments on the outfit choices from the students.
3. That I can deal with awkward situations:
One of the things I feared most teaching was standing at the front of the class and have no one answer my questions. Well that happened every week in one of my classes. I tried absolutely everything to engage them- I even made some funny (I think) jokes. It wasn’t fun standing up there, but it also wasn’t scary, I just dealt with it.
4. That I really enjoy teaching:
I always thought I would enjoy teaching (I was very close to studying teaching at uni), and this semester proved that I thought right.
5. That the little things make a difference:
Doing small things like replying to emails quickly, printing out the class slideshow for a student who cant see the screen properly, or being available before and after class makes a big difference to the students.
6. That I know more content than I thought:
I was so nervous that I would not know the course content and that the students would see straight past my poker face & bright clothes and know that I know nothing. However, I realised I remembered a lot more from my undergraduate degree and that I know more about sustainable tourism than I give myself credit for.
7. That teaching is a good distraction:
When I am teaching I genuinely don’t think about anything else other than getting through those 50 minutes. It was a way for me to give my mind a break from everything else going on for a little while.
[…] Being a teacher and being a headteacher are two completely different beasts, and this is something you have to both know and be prepared for. And, the biggest difference between these two beasts is the fact the working styles are so different. So, would you be prepared to change yours? […]