I have always believed that when it comes to teaching the first day is of most importance. Some students will make up their decision about the entire course by the end of that first day. So you can imagine that with that amount of pressure residing in my head - I get pretty nervous about the first day of class. What kind of impression will I make? I want to come off as cool, laid back, but also communicate that I have high expectations of them. And I also want to give encouragement that - yes, it can be done - and yes, you will learn here!
You would think that I would have myself all worked up into a frenzy about this and suffer from performance anxiety. But actually, it excites me. This is the one day that I really get to pitch the class. This is the day where I get to prove that my research topics, what I have dedicated my life to studying, are exciting and worthwhile!
So yesterday I presented my pitch. I tried to get them interested, to help them feel relaxed in my classroom, in my presence. I think it went over well. I have many more art history majors and architecture minors in this class than in my last class which should help with the group dynamic right off the bat.
I think I have a good group of kids this time around. I am optimistic that this will be a great class.