My first day of classes

When I arrived at the compound around 9pm Tuesday, they said “we’ll see you at 7AM in the morning for your first day.” I was a little worried I would have difficulties waking up that early considering I was so tired from all the traveling and moving, however I ended up waking up at 3 am and not being able to go back to sleep. I was feeling too homesick, and laying in bed wasn’t helping, so I got up and took a shower and ate breakfast and prepared for the day. I went to the bus and met all my coworkers there. Everyone was very sweet and welcoming.

I get to the university and they inform me that we are still about 6 teachers short, and they go ahead and give me the books I need to teach with. They gave me a schedule and said okay, you’ll be teaching your first class in an hour and half.

I’m sorry, what?

I literally had no time to prepare before they threw me into the classroom. I was so nervous, but then I remembered that my students are freshmen and they don’t really know how a college classroom works yet, so they have no idea that I have no idea what I am doing. I made each student go around the classroom and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves. Then I opened the book, and we went along with the lessons in the book. I didn’t have all the necessary materials yet, but I just told them that they hadn’t even had time to give me the materials, and luckily they were very understanding. At the beginning of the class, I was so nervous and worried, but by the end of the class I felt like a seasoned pro.

I had two classes that day, however I only was able to complete one of them. I got a call from our director asking me to find a sub, because the Dean wanted to give me an interview and apparently that was more important than teaching my class effectively.

Later in the day I spoke to my coworker, and I explained to her that they really just threw me in the classroom with zero orientation and zero prep time, and she said “I taught that in that classroom after you, and I saw the dry erase board with your lesson. It looks like you killed it, girl.” It was really nice to get a compliment from someone who has been doing this for a long time.

All my students are so sweet and so excited to learn. They need strong language skills because all of them are going on to be doctors, pharmacists, and computer engineers in the future. It’s really great to see these girls who come from a “closed” and “oppressed” society have such high hopes and expectations for themselves in the future.

Salaam,

KC

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