Aug 2010 was the last time I stood before a class, just before I left Singapore for the United States to pursue a Masters degree, and how much I have forgotten what it feels like to teach. Apart from the usual anxiety of having to face a class again, uncertain whether I would be able to communicate with the students, wondering how the students would respond, keeping an open mind to receive all kinds of students and all kinds of responses… I tried to psyche myself for this as best as I can, as I prepare to re-enter the classroom. In the end, what threw me off were the challenges of finding my way around campus and the sheer amount of physical energy required to stand before a class.
Anyone who knows me would know that I am sorely lacking in spatial intelligence and I continue to be tormented by my inability to find my way, even around Singapore. As such, moving to a new environment, especially one that I would not be going in that often, certainly poses a huge challenge for me. The first hurdle I had to cross this morning to get to class was: to find the adjunct office where my locker was located where I stored all the materials needed for class. Finding my way freaked me out way much more than having 45 students in one class (the largest class I ever had to teach).
Thankfully, I somehow managed to get through two classes this morning even though I came out of them completely exhausted. My legs were aching from standing for 3 hours, my diaphragm and my throat were hurting as these muscles have not been used for a while. That said, I did enjoy myself and am looking forward to my remaining 4 classes tomorrow. However, having to teach the same content 6 times sure makes it boring after a while. Hopefully, I can sustain myself and my mental energy even as I build up physical strength. Well, as the motto of my alma mater goes, “The Best Is Yet To Be.”