The Lugubrious Lycanthrope writes…
I will only be applying to schools with good financial aid, and that means: teaching. But the idea of standing in front of a class of undergrads (or anyone, for that matter) makes me nervous. Really nervous. Is this a common problem? Any advice on how to prepare myself?
Yes LL, it’s a common problem. Any kind of public speaking tends to terrify people. If you’ve got your own class then hey: you’re in charge for an hour and a half twice a week, and if you don’t get it done, no one will.
I’ve got all sorts of advice about teaching in the book. So look in the final chapter for that.
In regards to your question: if I were you I’d do some volunteer work this summer in your community that would involve teaching-like aspects. Or, do it for profit through tutoring or the like. And I’d read some books on teaching as well, just to familiarize yourself with the kinds of things that will come up.
I really love teaching, and I did from the first moment I was ever in charge of a class. Even though I was terrified at the time. I’ve been doing it for eight years now, and while I don’t get terrified, I still get nervous. So I work hard on my preparation, I’m clear about my expectations for students, and I use my own personality as a strength in the classroom instead of trying to cover up for it.
I’d really appreciate anyone’s suggestions on books about teaching. I’m outside my house now and not near my bookshelves. I’ll add some soon.