Well, I made it through the first day as a teacher here at Winfield College. Things actually went pretty well. It was a VERY long day, but by the end of it I felt as though I might actually be able to do this teaching stuff! We started in the morning doing testing for the daily students. These students will be here every morning for 3 hours. I am only working with them on Monday and Friday, but on on those days I will have them for two sessions which is really quite a lot. The 90 minute class schedules really bring me right back to high school for sure!
After the testing we had some time to get to know our head English teacher. We went out to lunch with her and her little 5 month old daughter Emily. What a cutie! We had a nice meal of pizza (I've been to this restaurant 4 times already!) and then we came back to make sure our lesson plans for the evening were okay. Kate had really good advice for how to make sure the students were really learning something even as we were just making introductions and reviewing things from last year.
By the time we were done with her, we only had about an hour to finalize our lesson plans and be ready to teach at 5. I was going a little crazy inside about the time pressure, but in the end, everything went quite smoothly. I had way more things planned than what I actually needed, which is by far the best problem to have, and both my classes seemed to enjoy themselves. There was plenty of laughter at least! When the classes were over it was such a relief to sit down and know that I had made it. I think the hard thing is to remember that I really do know what I'm talking about. The main problem is knowing how to explain what they need to learn. Once I can really figure that out I think my mind will be more at ease.
For the next week or so, we'll mostly be doing review in the classes. After that we have books to follow, and I think that will make things a lot less stressful. Right now, trying to come up with the lesson plans feels a little bit like practicum at training.
For now, at least, I can see that there is some hope of me becoming a decent teacher here in Cheb.