Teachers share their first-year faux pasDecember 17, 2015

Don't be cruel to your professors.

The ones you had in mind were on their first year of teaching, and you couldn't help but notice their nervousness. One of them dipped his tie into his soup, and he was your instructor in the prose genre. He was unaware of it. He also remembered you, as you giggled at him. (You tried to hide your amusement, without success.) It happened to those who struggled to get to grips with the marking, but you might not understand it. After all, an academic career won't be one of your options. You had no idea about the frantic planning, which your professors must do. And they wanted to make sure your mind wasn't wondering elsewhere during the lecture.

The first month on the job could be an awkward period, and you would come to that. At the moment, you tried to be friendly with your coursemates. You were attentive to your professors. At least no one wore a grammar obsessive T-shirt. (You wouldn't be surprised at seeing one in the English Department sooner or later.) Let's take a look:

You mistaken your teacher for a student. It happened at the library, on a Saturday. She ran during the weekend, and she dropped by the department before going home. You had no idea that she would be your instructor in phonetics. It could be her attire. You might be addled by her appearance. She gave you a stern look. You were red-faced in front of first-year students. (You could tell by their amused look.) You learned to pay attention next time.

The know-all professor annoyed you. He happened to be the newly-qualified teacher, and he turned out to be a ubiquitous figure in the department. You saw him in the debating society. He would be part of the residential trip. And the secretary (of the English Department) said he was a member of the thinktank committee. You figured out he was a egotistical teacher, but don't be too fast. You haven't attended his lectures, so hold your judgment.

Teaching could be a demanding profession. Your housemates talked about a professor who drifted off during a meeting. They made fun of him, which you thought was unfair. There were days when there were too many things to do, so such things could be considered as natural. You were perceptive of other people, even sensitive to their happenings. Pat yourself on the back, as this should be the attitude of aspiring writers.

Being a devil's advocate might not be a good move. You were not a huge fan of smoking, even if some celebrities would think otherwise. (Dad recalled his favourite stars, who looked cool with a cigarette on their fingers.) You were surprised when one of your professors encouraged you (and your coursemates) to try to puff. Some already did. (There were hardly any secrets on the place you lived.) You thought academicians shouldn't engaged in this kind of conversation, but you were in the company of young adults. And you were looking at another young adult. Almost.

Do you have other experiences to share? Don't be embarrassed.

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