I began teaching my first class on September 27th. The lucky first students are marketing seniors who want to learn why consumers make the decisions they do and how to successfully build a brand. That, or they just want 3 more credits to fulfill their major requirements before they can bounce. Either way.
I was nervous the week before, but when the first day rolled around I was ready. I had spent the summer going over my slides in great detail, practicing the entire first day (syllabus introduction and all), buying new dress pants and tops, and generally being over-prepared. Turns out, that was worth it.
My first class was not standing ovation worthy (that actually would have been weird, I think). But it went well enough, once people warmed up to the topic. I have had only minor mishaps so far…one of which was an engagement picture projected to the class. Not a huge issue…except that my fiance was the accounting professor for a few of the students (luckily I think he’s generally well liked!).
I’ve been looking forward to teaching since I started the PhD program for a number of reasons. For one, this is what I thought most professors did. It’s obviously the most visible part of the job, but I also went to a liberal arts school for college, not a research institution, so the professors there did, in fact, mostly teach. Second, I wanted to see if I actually would be good at it. I always thought I would be, but there’s something to be said for proving it to yourself (though obviously this can’t truly be known until the quarter is over).
It came naturally, which I was hoping it would. The topic is fun, which leads to more engaging discussions with students. I also have my advisor* to thank for setting me up for success with a fully formed shell of a class that I could then tweak.
I’m only 3 classes in and the students haven’t taken a test, given any presentations, and certainly haven’t turned in their professor evaluations, so a lot could go wrong. If anything, however, it’s a change of pace that I enjoy, and it has reassured me once again that I pursuing a profession I like (thanks Dad!).
Now back to working on this whole “research” thing…
*This is showing up as a misspelling, as if I should be spelling it “adviser” but I don’t think “advisor” is wrong…! Anyone?
“Those who can’t do, teach.”
(wait a minute…)
Hike below the Matterhorn with Dad, September 2013