Week 1 of Teaching
Whilst I'm not the biggest fan of 9am seminars, I'm excited for the start of the new academic year, the opportunity to lead seminars and meet a new cohort of students!
It's Wednesday morning, it's 7.30am and it's not fully light outside yet. But my alarm is ringing. I'm a self-proclaimed night owl and I can't remember the last time I was awake this early. I blearily drag myself out of bed, eyes not wanting to open fully and brain stuck on buffering. Then I remember why I'm awake this early - I'm leading my first seminars of the new academic year today. I'm suddenly wide awake and focused. Fast forward half an hour and I'm out of the house with my bag packed from the night before, like a school student preparing for the first day back after the summer, and a travel mug of tea in hand. It's still arguably too early to be up and out of the house but I squint as I sip my tea, blinded by the early morning sun uninterrupted in a blue sky, and I feel energised.
Leading seminars for last years inaugural cohort of masters conversion students was, hands down, my favourite part of the last academic year. I love teaching, helping people to develop their knowledge and skills, and sharing my love of my psychology with new people. Seeing my students grow from having only a vague reference of someone called Freud to writing deeply researched, well structured and insightful essays within the space of a few months was incredibly rewarding. Last year, the perk of leaving the house and getting to talk to some people in person was also a positive great enough to outweigh the early starts needed for 9am seminars.
I'm excited to do it all over again, this time with more responsibilities as the lead GTA for the course with a fresh team of teaching assistants to work with. I'm lucky to have new students to meet, different backgrounds leading to fresh perspectives on essay questions, and unique takes on historic papers and debate topics. I've led four sessions this week and, despite the introductory sessions not being as groundbreaking as some of the later content we'll cover, I've come out of all of them feeling stimulated by the conversations we've had and enthusiastic about the next two semesters. I am incredibly happy to be back and teaching at my university.
Now I just have to find a way to remember everyone's name without the prompting of display names on Teams/Zoom calls...