Thursday, October 4, 2012

My first time as an instructor

Way back at the end of January I was meeting with one of my pastors and somehow mentioned that I went to grad school.  He asked for what and I told him economics.  He said he taught world religion downtown and had a phone call that day -- they were looking for an economics instructor!  Did I want to teach there?  Seriously?  I've always wanted to teach and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The school is on the quarter system so it would be for 10 weeks, one night a week.  Small classes; seemed like the perfect way to try my hand at this.  I met with the Gen Ed chair and the job was mine.  Wahoo!

However, no one signed up for the class and it was cancelled.  Boo.  I got an email a few months ago saying the class would be held in the fall and the job was mine if I wanted it.  I thought that I did, but also wanted to pray about it and make sure I would have time for this adventure.  Shortly after that email, I went to Nicaragua in July.  Early into the trip I knew I wanted to do this and had a peace from the Lord about it.  Towards the end of the trip one of Osvaldo's prophesies over me was that I was called to "teach and preach -- not in a church."  Pretty cool confirmation from the Lord.

Fast forward a few months and I was ready, or ready as I'll ever be, to teach my first class.  I made sure I wore a suit and heels.  When you look like you're 23 you have to dress professional.  (Thank you Mr. Scarborough!)

I headed down there after my day job to meet with HR and turn in one last thing.  As I walked to the building, I started wondering what in the world I was doing.  I started feeling completely inept and wondering  how in the world I would pull this off.  Two things happened:

  1. I heard the Lord say to me, "I'm fulfilling part of your dream!"  How sweet to hear those words!  Yes, yes He is/was!  I've longed to teach and He's set it could I not trust Him?
  2. There's a restaurant right next door.  If this thing went terribly wrong, I would certainly be heading there afterwards and treating myself to a cold beer and burger with fries.  

After my visit with HR, I wondered around to where I thought I should be.  The dude that hired me wasn't there, so I made myself at home in a random cubicle.  At some point, I went to grab my jump drive.  No where to be found in my messenger bag.  Shiesta!  Must be in my car...not a big deal.  I tell the secretary of sorts that I'll be right back; she could care less if I told her I was the pope.

I scooted down the street to grab it out of my purse.  Calm, cool, and collected.

Y'all, it was.  Not.  There.  Double shiesta!

I put it in at work yesterday and must have forgotten to take it out!  Ah!  I headed down to my regular office and bolted in the door.  Of course it was locked so I found the security guard who gave me lip about having an ID badge but oh well.  I ran to the office, grabbed it, and headed back.  Praise the Lord I made it back in time!

I've been reading Jesus Calling for a month or so now and yesterday's was pretty perfect.  It came back to mind in the midst of my frantic/anxious/ah! what am I doing? freak out moment:

So, armed with truth I headed back to my cube and got things settled.  I made the copies I needed to make and felt calm and prepared.  Now, let's talk about food.  I brought some delicious lemon/brussels sprouts/walnut/feta/lemon zest quinoa to heat up for supper.  However, I started feeling odd about that: where would I heat it up?  Get a spoon, etc?  So I decided to grab the 2 packs of cheese/peanut butter crackers I had in my car.  A pack before I started and one during the break and I'd be good to go.

So...I opened the first pack and OMG it was nasty!  Way too OLD!  Gross!  The next pack was edible, but certainly a smidge stale.  Things to think through for next week!

I headed down to my classroom and two students were in there.  I tried to log on the computer, but could not.  This is the first time I needed help.  One of the dudes walked me around the school until we found another instructor who very kindly showed me how to work it -- gave the tricky password.  We headed back to class and there were 6 students in there.

We got started with introductions, the syllabus, etc.  About that time my 7th student strolled in late.  I'd have been a bit frustrated, but he had just flown in from Hong Kong and loves bacon so how frustrated could you be?  Also, he was a huge asset as he worked the computer glitches for me throughout the evening.

The class runs from 6:00 to 10:00 pm; that is a LONG time to keep people entertained!  I'm supposed to teach for 50 of 60  minutes, so we left at 9:30 and took a 10 minute break.  We went through all of the business you do in a new class, went over two chapters of PowerPoint and read/discussed two articles.  I was thrilled with the participation of the students and loved the small classroom feel.  I felt really comfortable teaching and engaging the students.  They did a great job participating and were respectful.  There was a good balance of learning/seriousness, but also some personality and bit of banter.  That is really how I work best.  Ha!  It was fun getting to know the students and look forward to knowing them more as the class continues.  I didn't know what to expect, but couldn't have asked for it to have gone better.  I'm so thankful!

And, if it ever gets really rough...there's always the restaurant next door...