Even after 27 years of teaching, in some form or another, I still get nervous before I meet a class for the first time.
It’s not a debilitating nervousness, and not even half as bad as the jitters I got before I acted in a play when I knew I needed to do something, but couldn’t decide between number one, number two or just puking.
Instead it’s more of a restlessness and periodic fits of self-doubt that manifests as a form of amnesia that causes me to forget everything I’ve learned since I’ve been teaching. I’m especially worried with a Japanese class because the Japanese tend to form permanent first impressions.
I was also warned that the class was fairly quiet and that I might have some trouble getting them to talk.
Once I got in front of the class, my improv skills took over and I started running a series of tests to see how they did.
Verdict: they are mixed levels, which is a pain, but most of them worked hard. The few who didn’t might be an issue eventually, but even they didn’t seem that bad.
I’ll find out more next class when they are supposed to turn in their first homework assignment. That’s when the real fun will start.