Tomorrow is the first day of classes.
I’ve been teaching for a decade now and I still get excited for the start of a new semester.
I tweak my syllabi, update my slides, search out new readings to assign, and wonder what my students will be like. I prepare all my materials the night before, certain (and rightly so) that I’ve forgotten something. I toss and turn, playing out my “welcome to the class” speech in my head all night long. I laugh nervously at my mistakes as I stand before a sea of faces and flounder through 80 new, unfamiliar names. I buzz with adrenaline the whole time I’m in the classroom and smile at strangers on the subway ride home. I am alive.
I figure the day I no longer feel these things on the first day of classes – a day of infinite promise and possibility – is the day I should find a new job.
In the meantime, I count myself very lucky.