The Trending Prof

Anita Woods Ph.D., University Educator

Professor Problems: Officially in Panic Mode. What your Professor is Really Thinking.

School starts in 5 days.  AHHHHHH! I am not ready for this year.  I don’t think I ever feel ready but this year seems more intense than most.  Today I met a lot of lovely new first year students.  Chatty, happy, excited, intense, calm, close talkers, quiet, serious, …. I saw them all this afternoon.  It was our (profs that teach at least one first year class) job to be our normal selves, and just talk to mostly first year students.  The event today was two fold- have students be able to ask their questions about future courses and career plans, but also show that we are just people and that we don’t bite.  Although I think I am pretty approachable, the inner monologue was getting quite intense (not reflective of the students of course but of the fact that school starts in 5 days!).

Student “Hey, I’m taking your third year course!”

Me “Oh nice. Are you looking forward to it? We start on Monday *(inside voice, I’M NOT READY!! I HAVEN’T EVEN MADE MY POWER POINT SLIDES YET!!!!)”

Student “Ya, it sounds really cool.  Are you teaching first?”

Me *(inside voice: OH NO, OH NO, IT’S 5 DAYS AWAY) calm smiley face* “Yes, I start first thing on Monday. It’s a great course, I hope you’ll really enjoy it.” 

Student “Cool! See you next week, really looking forward to what you’ll be teaching us!”

Me “Ya, I’m looking forward to starting next week too!” *Inside voice: I’m a liar! I am looking forward to it but I also am not…..mostly because I don’t feel like I’m even halfway close to being really prepared….*

September is always tough.  Its hard to get back into the swing of lecturing, even though this is year #7 for me.  Its also extra anticipation because every new class is different and I am feeling the pressure of making the right first impression.  So my first lecture HAS TO BE PERFECT! There is no room for bombing a first lecture.  I don’t like failing in any lecture, but it usually happens at least once a year where I leave the lecture hall feeling like an absolute failure.  It is a professors nightmare to fail at even one lecture and I’ve already had the dreams of this event not going well.  So before I get myself into more a tizzy, I need to get back to crafting that perfect power point.  To all my fellow faculty out there, happy first lecture!




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