Monday, August 24, 2015

The Blackboard Jungle: Ten Years Later

Note: I posted this remembrance on my Facebook page yesterday, but decided to cross-post it here as well so that it could be preserved in a slightly less transient location.

As I sit here prepping my lecture notes, ready to begin my fall semester bright and early in the AM, the sudden realization hit that tomorrow marks exactly ten years TO THE DAY that I first stepped in front of a college classroom as the teacher of record. I still remember the feeling of creeping dread that gripped me as I walked into that class -- *my* class -- at San Jose State for the very first time, hoping desperately that my abject terror wasn't in any way perceptible.

One decade later I've frankly lost count of the number of courses, sections, and students I've taught since that first section of Public Speaking at SJSU lo those many semesters ago. But the one thing I *can't* forget -- because it's never once gone away, is the fresh thrill of getting to know a new group, getting to teach them, learn with them, and learn from them. The joy that comes from seeing them set off to claim the many successes their lives have in store for them.

I've been privileged to stay connected with many of my students over the years. I've rejoiced in their personal and professional triumphs, and I take the tiniest bit of pride in being able to share credit for a few threads in the magnificent tapestries they've woven. Ten years. It's a heck of a run. Sometimes I look at everything I still want to achieve in life and get discouraged. But that feeling can never last very long when I think about everything these ten years have given me.

Here's what I wrote in 2005 as I reflected on my very first day as a teacher.

No comments: